New Delhi: The much-awaited relief and rehabilitation policy for the farmers displaced by land acquisitions for industrial projects and SEZs will soon be taken to the Cabinet.
“We have sent the draft of the policy to the Law Ministry. After it is vetted by them (Law Ministry), we will take it to the Cabinet in a matter of days,” Union Minister for Rural Development Raguvansh Prasad Singh told reporters here on 10 April.
Singh indicated that compulsory land acquisition for industrial projects including Special Economic Zones would not be allowed “at any cost” in the policy.
The Empowered Group of Ministers headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently decided to amend the SEZ rules asking states not to go in for compulsory acquisition of land. It also decided to put a cap of 5,000 hectares on these zones.
While the Rural Development Ministry has been given the key task of formulating the rehabilitation policy, Singh is not part of the eGoM on SEZs.
He did not specify whether the 83 SEZs cleared by the eGoM recently would be covered under the impending rehabilitation policy. However, he indicated that the SEZs already in possession of land may not attract the provisions of the new policy.
Singh said, his ministry “would ensure that the interests of farmers are protected.”