The state government has decided to fix January 1, 2014, as the cut-off date to evaluate the benchmark value of land, the same day when the revised land acquisition law, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCTLAR&R), 2013, came into effect.
The date would be applicable for finalising rates of land acquisition cases initiated before 2014.
The new law has provision that the prices of the land must be taken into account from the date of the issue of initial land acquisition notification. But in cases where land acquisition process has already been initiated and price finalisation notice has not been served by the end of December, 2013, there was no clear instruction as to which date to be considered as cutoff date as per the revised law. “The new act does not indicate any cut-off date for those cases already initiated under the old act. In such a situation, it would be most appropriate to accept the date of coming into force of the RFCTLAR&R, 2013, as the cut-off date for determination of market value of land in those land acquisition cases initiated prior to December 31, 2013,” said additional chief secretary (revenue) Tara Dutt in a circular to all collectors last month.
The revised act provides for better compensation for private land to be acquired for government or private projects. It includes calculation of 12 per cent increase of land price every year from the date of price notice along with all other immovable property prices on the land such as trees and houses. Besides, the land losers will be entitled to receive 100 percent solatium making the effective the land price double of the value after considering all criteria to fix the rate.
The government has asked the collectors to submit data for showing the inventory of land acquisition processes that has not been completed.
Though the new act makes land acquisition process costlier, major projects would not be affected as the land acquisition process for these projects had started earlier. Land acquisition for steel projects of Posco, Essar, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Tata Steel and power projects such as Odisha Ultra Mega Power Project had begun couple of years back with several people already receiving compensation for their land. However, upcoming steel projects along with many coal mining projects could face the blow due to the new rates applicable as per the revised law. Several port projects announced by the state government might also get hampered by the new land law, sources said.