Friday, June 3, 2011

Maya woos farmers with new land policy


LUCKNOW: Facing flak for her government's handling of a series of farmer agitations in UP, chief minister Mayawati on Thursday announced a newland acquisition policy under which the government will play the role of a facilitator. Private companies needing land for projects will have to acquire it directly from farmers through mutual agreement, she said. 

No land acquisition will be done in a village where 70% inhabitants are not ready for it, the chief minister said, while announcing the new policy after a kisan panchayat here, which comes into immediate effect. 

Mayawati, however, clarified that the policy won't be implemented in areas where land has already been acquired and compensation distributed to farmers. So, Bhatta-Parsaul and Tappal will be out of its ambit. She added that the government would compensate farmers for damages to their property in the recent clashes in Bhatta and Parsaul villages in Greater Noida. 

The CM said the new policy was formulated with safety nets to ensure the farmers' interests and added that this would be further amended to incorporate any other suitable suggestions made by farmers. 

Maya said while all land acquisition would be done though a mutual agreement between farmers, a kisan bhawan and a model school would have to be set up by developers in all such villages where land was being acquired by them in future. 

The agreement for land acquisition would be finalized only after the consent of 70% of farmers of the village or area in question. This would be applied to all, including development authority, the UP State Industrial Development Corporation and similar other organisations in need of land. 

As for compensation, farmers will have the option either to take it one go from the developer or take 16% of the total land from them in developed form along with Rs 23,000 annual annuity per acre for 33 years. The annuity increased at the rate of Rs 800 annually per acre would be over and above the compensation amount and paid in July every year. Those unwilling to take annuity would be paid lump sum of Rs 2,76,000 per acre. 

"Farmers," Maya said, "will be free to sell some portion of their 16% of developed land to developer at prevailing market rates. The above developed land would be given to farmers free of cost and also be free from stamp duty." 

If farmers purchase land anywhere in the state from the land compensation amount within one year, they will get stamp duty exemption on its registration. All farmers whose land is acquired for construction of national highways, canals and similar other projects will be covered by the state's rehabilitation and resettlement policy. 

Likewise, farmers would also be entitled to buy shares up to 25% in the company, which takes their land. Besides, one member of each farmer family will be given job by the private company acquiring land. Farmers, who fall in the marginal category after their land acquisition, will be compensated with agricultural labourer wage equal to 375 days. For agricultural labourer, this compensation will be equal to 625 days' wages and 250 days for those displaced in the wake of their land acquisition. 

Describing the new policy as historic, Maya said efforts will be made to pressure the Centre to adopt this model for the entire country. She also announced that in case the Centre refused to bring a land acquisition bill during the monsoon session, BSP will protest against this in parliament. 

"The state's new policy is better than the ones being implemented in Congress-ruled states like Haryana," she said. Referring to the Bhatta Parsaul incident, she said it was opposition-engineered for political mileage. "The incident there had nothing to do either with the compensation or the land acquisition, as these issues had already been settled there," she said. 

Warning the opposition parties against politicizing the issue, she said nobody will be allowed to disturb law and order and stern action would be taken against those found guilty on this count. She said they should rather pressure the Centre to amend the land acquisition act than make UP an arena of politics for cheap popularity ahead of the assembly poll.

No comments:

Post a Comment