CII wants govt to help industry in land acquisition

CII wants govt to help industry in land acquisition

New Delhi: Industry body CII on Sunday said it wants the government to reconsider the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2007 which if passed would leave the private sector ‘fend for itself´ in land acquisition for industrial projects.

According to the Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha last year, the state will step in to help acquire land after the industry has bought 70% of the allotted site.

This means, the “government will no longer play a role in acquiring land for industrial development," chamber Vice- President Venu Srinivasan said.

Piecing together fragmented land from numerous owners cannot be done by the corporate sector effectively. “Rather the state should fulfill its responsibility for economic development and employment generation by developing industrial parks and make them available for in the industry," the chamber said.

It has suggested setting up state land bank corporations whose job would be to acquire non-cultivable land, develop them and pass them to the private sector.

The government had introduced the Bill in Parliament after violent protests broke out in different parts of the country, including Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal, against land acquisition. The Tatas were forced to shift to Gujarat from Singur for their prestigious Nano car project.

Srinivasan said the state governments should be empowered to acquire land not only for infrastructure or defence purposes, but also for economic activity.

Another provision of the Bill that requires buyer of the land to share the capital gains with the original owners or their heirs is an “impossibly onerous task" for the private sector, he said.

Besides developing the basic infrastructure, the government should also provide for rehabilitation of the displaced persons, CII said.