Oxfam on India’s proposed new land acquisition ordinance

There has been uproar in India’s parliament and among civil society groups following the government’s proposal to replace the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCLARR). RFCLARR was enacted in 2013 replacing the land acquisition policies prevalent in the country since 1894.

A year later, the Government of India on December 31, 2014 issued an ordinance making significant changes to the Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for

  • areas of industrial corridors
  • public private partnership (PPP) projects
  • rural infrastructure
  • affordable housing
  • defence

Noteworthy are the exemptions related to Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and consent of affected communities if these related to the above five areas. In effect, the new ordinance negates the significant gains made through the 2013 Act that would have benefited project-affected communities. Worrisome also is that the ordinance promotes land acquisition in favor of large-scale industrial, infrastructural and defence related expansion.

Oxfam India has issued a policy brief: Land Acquisition Ordinance 2014: Dismissing Democracy, Displacing Safeguards?that lists out some clearly defined expectations that the organisation has from the bill introduced in parliament.

March 4, 2015 | Namati

Region: South Asia