The new land acquisition and resettlement bill was approved by the Cabinet yesterday and it now seems that apart from higher compensation and resettlement commitments, there are other clauses that will be a cause of worry for India Inc.
Also read: Housing prices to go up post land acquisition bill approval
As more details of the bill emerge, CNBC-TV18 learns that the retrospective clause in the proposed legislation could be applicable to projects which are up and running at the moment. Rituparna Bhuyan of CNBC-TV18 gives the details of the retrospective clause.
After the retrospective clause on the tax front, this seems like another retrospective issue India Inc will have to deal with. Article 24 of the proposed bill lays out conditions under which, the on going land acquisitions that happen under the current act, will lapse. It also says that if compensation on an on going acquisition is received under protest, then such processes will be deemed as being un-paid. If the land loser is un-paid, or if the government is not able to take possession of a piece of land within five years of the notification of the new land legislation, then norms of the new land bill will apply. This means that the entire process would have to be restarted again as per the new land bill.
Going by the scope of this law, old cases could open up again. For example, Bhatta Parsaul case, cases in Greater Noida, even the case of Narmada dam eviction could be opened up according to sources.
However, this clause got discussed in the cabinet meeting and some cabinet members suggested some kind of changes in that. On Monday it will be clear if changes have been made to this controversial clause, because on Monday the rural development minister Jairam Ramesh will lay this new legislation at the floor of the Lok Sabha for consideration and passing.