'Democratic' land acquisition bill will protect farmers, assures Jairam Ramesh

Lucknow, Sept. 21 (ANI): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday assured that the recently-passed Land Acquisition Bill would offer appropriate compensation to the farmers, apart from making the rehabilitation process easy for those who were rendered landless.

"This is a democratic law. It will bring transparency in land acquisition, will give appropriate compensation, and rehabilitation and re-accommodation has been made a legal right," Ramesh said at a press conference here.

Ramesh also used the opportunity to lash out at the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government, and accused them of shielding corrupt state officials who were involved in alleged irregularities with regard to implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

"I asked them for an enquiry by the CBI because the team of the state government itself found irregularities in seven towns. It is unfortunate till date that we have not got the permission from the state government and the action which needs to be taken against the guilty officials and representatives has not been taken," Ramesh said.

The Land Acquisition Bill, which was passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, will replace a century-old law, and is historic and revolutionary as it seeks to provide fair and just compensation to farmers and to those who lose their livelihood on account of acquisition.

The new bill proposes that farmers and landowners be paid up to four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, and two times the market value in urban areas.

The other significant aspect of the Bill is that the consent of 80 percent of landowners is needed for acquiring land for private projects and of 70 percent landowners for public-private projects. (ANI)