Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kerala unveils draft land acquisition policy

Thiruvananthapuram:The Kerala cabinet cleared a draft land acquisition policy Wednesday to speed up the development process in the state.

The Kerala move coincided with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh introduving the National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, in the Lok Sabha Wednesday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting that the highlight of the state's draft policy is that transferrable development bonds would be issued to people who do not want immediate cash for the land that they surrender.

'All those who wish to get transferable development bonds in lieu of cash for land surrendered can at any later date encash these bonds or can even sell these back to the government.

'This would enable the land owner to get the benefit of the increase in land value following development in the area,' Chandy said.

State Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan added that the draft has been given to all the political parties in the state and would be discussed in public fora.

'In two weeks, recommendations that come up in the open discussion would be taken into consideration. We expect that in a month the state would have a new path-breaking land acquisition policy, replacing the one which is in force now and waas formulated in 1894,' Radhakrishnan said.

'Over the years what we have seen is that due to the various delays in land takeover, the project gets delayed by five years, resulting in a huge cost escalation.'

'With this new policy, there will be no delays and all those who give land for development would get good value for the land and even get a maximum two percent in the equity of the project, and also one person from the family which loses land will get a job in the project,' he added.

Incidentally, this new policy is applicable for land taken over by the government for setting up new projects.

This scheme was included in the 100-day programme announced by the new Chandy government soon after it took office.

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