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Land Acquisition Bill: Jairam Ramesh assures farmers of adequate compensation

August 12, 2011 - New Delhi

Ahead of tabling the Land Acquisition Bill in the Parliament, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has assured the farmers that they will be provided adequate compensation and steps would be taken to ensure that those who are displaced are rehabilitated.

Ramesh told a farmers' delegation here on Thursday: "On the demand of National Advisory Council of Sonia Gandhi (Congress President) and Rahul Gandhi (Congress General Secretary) we have prepared an integrated draft in which we included land acquisition and compensate the rehabilitation of the farmers."

"In this draft, we are not only talking about the land owners, but those (farmers) whose livelihood depends on their lands and acquiring of the lands. We are also talking about the rights of their families. So this would be another big change we have got in the draft," he added.

Ramesh further asked the farmers' delegation to maintain pressure on the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh over issues related with land acquisition.

"If you think this draft is a positive step, you must maintain pressure on the government because now a back clash might start over this draft," he said.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress President Rita Bhuguna Joshi told mediapersons that the irrigated and fertile land should not be acquired in the name of public interest and the public interest should be explained properly.

"The irrigated and fertile land should not be acquired on the name of public interest and the public interest should be explained properly. We had a very good discussion and the Minister (Jairam Ramesh) has assured that if more farmers would like to meet him, then we would meet them and the farmers feelings would be considered by him," she said.

The provisions of the draft Land Acquisition Bill released last month aims at giving adequate compensation to landowners and ensuring rehabilitation of those displaced.

According to the Bill, the government can acquire the land at a price not less than twice the market value in urban areas. It also says the compensation will not be less than six times the market price in rural areas.

"The multi-cropped irrigated land cannot be acquired in any circumstances and consent of 80 per cent of project affected families is mandatory if the Government acquires land for use by private companies for stated public purpose," says the draft Land Acquisition Bill.

The draft suggests that under no circumstances should multi-cropped, irrigationed land be acquired. The draft also makes it clear that the Government will not acquire land for private companies for private purpose.


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