THIS DEBATE ON LAND ACQUISITION BILL NOT GOOD FOR INDIA

Over the past few days, the Parliament of India has focussed on the revisions brought in by the NDA Government in to the LARR Bill (Land Acquisition, rehabilitation & resettlement Bill). The arguments and counter arguments swing raised between the well researched and ridiculous.

Yes, the debate had to happen so that the policy makers can find the optimum mix of individual land owner’s interest and the unavoidable need for urbanisation.

Here are some of the points not discussed in parliament, but which are likely to have long term negative impact on the economy:

  • Investments: The wrangling suggests that the “corporate world” and “large ticket investments” are some kind of negative words. As per recent study, India would have to generate more 1.3 million jobs every year, for which we would have to have a sustained GDP growth upwards of 8.5%. This, in itself, would require huge capital infusion by the ‘private sector’. No country today, especially, with the demographic size of India, can afford to attract growth through the socialist movement. Political parties for myopic gains cannot wean away this investment by the private sector.

 

  • Economy of Farming: Many who debate in parliament, probably, are not exposed to the actualities of earning potential from agriculture. The land holding in India per farmer family is less than 1 hectare. Assuming an average gross yield of Rs.50,000/- (fifty thousand rupees) per acre per annum, it is increasingly difficult to sustain livelihood and improve the quality of life through farming alone. With the absence of infusion of ‘NEO Farming Technology’, the ‘subsistence model’ of agriculture cannot be artificially kept alive. India as a country is migrating from villages to towns and cities and we are looking at almost 60% urbanisation by 2050. For that, we need not just modernise our existing cities but also create new hubs of economic activity.

 

  • People:   Seeing attraction from the media on this issue, a lot of pseudo-sympathisers have joined the debate. These could be social leaders, political leaders and those seeking their quick moment under the Sun. They are just debating myopic theories, thereby harming the long term interest of the state as well as their constituents.

 

Since when have hunger strikes solved a commercial issue!

 

  • Rumours and mis-interpretation: It may be seen from the submission of some parliamentarians that the Government would acquire every piece of land and throw out the farmer from their source of living. Rumour mongers abound the social media who are intentionally presenting factual errors. They are not highlighting the positives of the bill, and at best, would delay the development of the nation by a few years.

 

It may be well understood that the Land Acquisition Bill promulgated by our British Rulers in 1894 was grossly misused by the same political class till about two years back. Yes, there was a need to re-look at the law afresh and make it pragmatic and contemporary. All the states had requested that this act be re-promulgated since the act in its original form was unfair on all stakeholders. Any development of the infrastructure to connect villages to their market place have to have land.

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