Affiliations: [*] Former Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development
Abstract: Rapid economic growth in the last two decades has increased the demand for land from many sources. Even when many of these activities are funded privately and driven by profit motive, they serve a social purpose, as employment generation per unit of land is higher in non-agricultural uses than in agriculture. However, the 1894 colonial law which remained applicable till 2013 was quite hostile to the interests of the landowner, as it attempted to make land available to government at a minimal price, which led to resistance in many cases. In this context, the new Land Acquisition Law, 2013, tries to do justice to the landowners and those dependent on that land by improving the compensation and rehabilitation package. However, there is still room for improvement so that the whole process is not dilatory and does not retard economic growth. Besides, landowners should benefit from future escalation in land prices, project-affected families must be made literate, and trained for semi-skilled or skilled jobs, and land records must be updated as per the new Hindu Succession Act in the interest of women’s empowerment.
Keywords: Land acquisition, Compensation, Rehabilitation, Tribals, Land records, Infrastructure