Industries that acquire farmland but fail to set up facilities on them within five years will have to give it up, the group of ministers (GoM) framing a new rehabilitation policy unanimously agreed at its third meeting on Thursday.
The GoM, which is also framing land acquisition rules, took the view that the government must not help companies acquire land, unless they had previously acquired 70% of the land required for a project. It also set a formula for land prices. “Companies must pay 50% of the price of the land over three years prior to the acquisition, or the average of floor prices set by the government over three years, whichever is higher,” a member of the GoM said, while clarifiying that farmers can use 20% of the price paid for their land to buy shares of the company.
Headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, the GoM was formed to set up norms for acquiring land and rehabilitation—issues that had turned controversial following protests over land acquisition for special economic zones.