Panel: Keep Acquisition Of Agricultural Land As Last Resort

A House panel has advised the government to actuate a law to protect prime agricultural land. It said that the acquisition of these agricultural plots should be the last option.

The committee said that the law could be drafted on the lines of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, after examining the Land Acquisition Bill, 2007.
According to the 2007 Bill, the company setting up a project has to acquire 70 per cent of the land while the rest is taken over by the government.

According to the panel, the entire land acquisition should be carried out either by the private firm that wants the land or by the government.
“To avoid controversy, we have suggested that 100 per cent acquisition be done either by the government or the private party,” Kalyan Singh, the panel’s chairman, said.

This suggestion comes at a time when there have been a number of rows over land acquisition in the country, the most recent one being the Singur case.
In case of compensation, Singh said that the sum should be in congruence with the market rates calculated as highest sale deed of the last three years and increasing it by 50%.