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September 15, 2011

Land Bill draft tabled at Paschimbanga Cabinet

Land Bill draft tabled at Paschimbanga Cabinet

Chief minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee tabled the draft land bill at the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, proposing to acquire land only for government projects like building bridges, hospitals, laying of railway tracks, setting up of embankments, irrigation projects and projects relating to internal security.

The much-awaited land bill comes a day before the Centre tables the draft Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill in Parliament. The bill is different as compared to all the other land legislation bills.  The draft suggests a compensation of two lakhs to five lakhs over and above the purchase price will be paid to the land owner whose land will be taken by the government for projects. Ms. Mamata Banerjee said that there will be a provision of a monthly pension scheme of 3000 rupees for the first year and 2000 rupees for the next 19-years. Apart from these the land losers will be allotted a suitable land and also government will try to give them employment. The draft bill which will be placed in an all-party meeting in the assembly is open to any suggestions from the opposition in order to make the bill more effective. However, the Chief Minister made it clear that the government will not acquire any land to appease any individual for the industrial purposes.

Salient features of the land draft bill:

  • No land acquisition for private projects. No acquisition for projects runs on PPP model. No SEZ. 
  • Land to be acquired to build bridges, embankments, for irrigation, and laying of railway tracks  Price of land to be based on prevailing market price, plus 100% solatium on urban land.
  •  Monthly pension for land loser for 20 years ( 3,000 for the first 12 months, 2,000 from the 13th month for the remaining 19 years).
  • Government job to one member of land loser’s family. If found ineligible for a government job, a one-time compensation of 2 lakh.
  • 1.5 lakh support to build home for land losers rendered homeless.
  •    Separate compensation for other stakeholders like recorded `bargadars` and labourers working on the land in tune with the central government’s slab.