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Maharashtra govt mulls state amendments to Centre's land acquisition act

Wants to continue land acquisition for industries under MIDC Act 1961 through consent route

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Devendra Fadnavis

The BJP-led government in Maharashtra is currently exploring options to carry out state amendments to the The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR).

A state revenue official told Business Standard, "The government may table state amendments to sections 105, 106 and 108 of the Centre's LARR Act in the legislature and seek Presidential assent for its implementation for land acquisition in Maharashtra.

"The section 105 is with regard to option of appropriate government to lease while section 106 says the provisions of LARR Act will not apply in certain cases or to apply with certain modifications. Further, section 108 relates to the power of state legislatures to enact any law more beneficial to affected families.''

The government also wants to continue land acquisition purely for industrial purposes under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act, 1961 by adhering to the provisions of higher compensation proposed in the Centre's LARR Act. It has assured higher compensation to land owners through negotiations and consent route during land acquisition for industrial purpose.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the NITI Ayog meeting held on Wednesday said the Centre had retained the right to exempt social-impact assessment (SIA) and the consent clause for acquisition under LARR Act, 2013, while states had not been given this flexibility.

Fadnavis argued that states should also have the right to exempt SIA and consent clause for land acquired for public purposes.

The official added that the government may bring in a new act for land acquisition, with more clarity on the contentious issues relating to compensation, social impact assessment, consent and redressal.

However, he clarified that these discussions are in a preliminary stage and the state cabinet will take a final decision in this regard.

As far as land acquisition for industrial purpose is concerned, the industry department official said the Centre has turned down state's request to exempt the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act (MIDC), 1961 from LARR Act.

"However, the Attorney General in his opinion has communicated that state can continue to acquire land acquisition through negotiations and consent route by paying compensation as per the LARR Act provisions or higher. MIDC, which is the nodal agency for industrial development, has been offering higher compensation package to land owners and it will continue to do so for ongoing and future land acquisitions. As on date, acquisition of about 6,000 hectares of land was in progress,'' the official said.

The official informed that MIDC acquires only barren, non-irrigated and infertile lands for industrialisation across the state.

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First Published: Thu, July 16 2015. 10:44 IST