Pullarao Pentapati – Land acquisition must be handled sensitively by Government

There is talk that the  Land acquisition Act of 2013 is going to be amended as state governments and industry eel that the law is too strict and  land availability  will become  severe hindrance for industry purposes .In my opinion, the new law of 2013 is actually anti-farmer.

Land acquisition must be handled sensitively by GovernmentNarendra Modi has never been a  farmer or a land-owner. By his own admission and pride, he came from a family of hard- working, self-employed people.  Modi was never apologetic about it and it brought him the highest office in India, edging out all other privileged people. One does not therefore blame for viewing land as a mere form of earning option.  In the last month, one has been repeatedly hearing statements on how the recent Land-Acquisition Act has to be changed since it is “anti-development “.

It would seem to me that Modi is preparing public-opinion to soften up farmers and others whose land will be acquired. It might be a good public relations exercise, but Prime Minister Modi should understand that tearing people away from land is not the best solution for all his theories.

It is also an Indian myth that Indian business has created that land is the only thing holding them back. India business wants government to give them land cheap, so that they can make a very profitable asset out of it.

The best incentive for people wanting to sell land or get their land acquired by NHAI and other government-needed purposes is to offer them a tax-incentive.

Government should say that anyone who agrees to offer land for Land-Acquisition will get a tax-incentive of additional 50% .For example, Government can also offer one seat in Kenrdriya  Vidyalaya to any nominee of the person whose land is acquired. An incentive-based program with fiscal concessions will create a situation where land will be offered at market prices.

The biggest weakness of the Land law of 2013 is that the millions of farmers who lost land from 2004 to 2014 have been neglected by the new law as it does not apply retrospectively. The Modi government should rectify this wrong done to millions of farmers. The then Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh has shown himself to be anti-farmer throughout his career. The Modi government should not harm farmers.  It should proceed every carefully and not be rushed into changes by the industry lobbies.

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