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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Narendra Modi's Land Acquisition Ordinance for Modi's Moor!............

Narendra Modi's Land Acquisition amendment Ordinance is not only a move to hit India's food security but it's the Modi Government's hidden agenda to grab the land for the corporate like Adani-Ambani Company. In the name of development this ordinance is 'Moony Modi's Moonstruck Moonshine'. This ordinance is not for 'Moor', but it's only "MODI'S MOOR FOR THE CORPORATE."

The decision of ruling Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government to promulgate an ordinance to amend Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 has the potential of hitting country's hard-earned food security as the new law gives sweeping rights to the government to acquire farming lands to accelerate the pace of industrialization immaterial of its consequences.
The manner in which the government hurriedly pushed through an ordinance to amend the law ironically three days after India's law making body ended its formal session clearly demonstrates its intention to sideline Gram Sabhas and legal authorities as process of implementation of the new law remains unclear and ambiguous.
The decision raises apprehensions among the common people that the current government is more interested in converting a pre-dominantly agricultural Indian society into a pro-corporate society where farmers and the poor who constitute the majority of the country's population would not have any say in the development of society, policy making, as well as decision making. In other words India would be ruled not by and for its people but by industrial houses and multi-national companies.
The ordinance that was brought into amend the land acquisition act has got many flaws, which are bound to have adverse impact on farmers in the long run as the new law does not hold accountable or responsible the company that has been allotted land if they do not use the land and the government can arbitrarily decide as to how much time should be given to the company. The new law is also unclear about the impact of land acquisition on the environment and forest rights.
"The decision is undemocratic and pro-corporate. It is not transparent and against Constitutional norms. The government deliberately avoided a debate in Parliament on the issue. The ordinance has been pushed now only to facilitate corporate and business interests," said Medha Patkar, a well-known social activist.
The ordinance also does away with the Social Impact Assessment clause in case land is acquired for five purposes including national security, defense and rural infrastructure development clearly diluting environmental laws as it does not want to hear the affected people, particularly the tribals living in the forests for centuries, as it makes the forcible land acquisition in the name of boosting industrialization and rural development.
It may be recalled that Uttar Pradesh government had faced stiff protest against its proposed enforced land acquisition policy in 2011 in Greater NOIDA to facilitate the smooth construction of various housing projects, institutional and industrial complexes. The land acquisition issue is complex and controversial because 65 per cent of India's population is dependent on agricultural land. The new law empowered the government to acquire private land citing it necessary for "public purposes".
The ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet and stamped by the President Pranab Mukherjee in a way resembles the land acquisition legislations enacted by previous government where the affected families had no say in the land acquisition policy.
The land acquisition act was originally moved and passed by previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliancegovernment and supported by the then principal opposition BJP and its leaders like Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and Sumitra Mahajan (was the chairman in that committee) readily accepted all the amendments making SIA process more stringent wherever land acquisition takes place to benefit victims, both rural and urban people. The same party has now surprisingly reversed its stand and has done away with the SIA process giving clear indication that the government is in favor of corporate interest and has least interest in the welfare of all the walks of the Indian society.
There is also a strong apprehension among the people particularly the peasantry as the new legislation did not introduce the concepts of rehabilitation and resettlement. It has just introduced a process that ensured compliance and enforcement despite the fact that the Supreme Court had already mandated rehabilitation and resettlement even before the new law was enacted. A national policy also existed on the subject. The SIA was created to provide a framework for the smooth implementation of the act. With the NDA government deciding to dilute the entire SIA process, the implementation part of the new act is unclear and doubtful.
Another significant feature of the original act that was put in place with regard to acquisition of agricultural or multi-crop land that was done to ensure food security to the people of India could also be effectively done away with the new amendments as they appear to allow such acquisitions without restrictions hampering the implicit limits. The government could avail this opportunity to strengthen legal governing land titles in NDA-ruled states. Instead, the new amendments have virtually snatched the powers of Gram Sabhas paving way for land mafias to exploit farmers and other land owners.
Former Rural Development MinisterJairam Ramesh who has been instrumental in the preparation of original land acquisition law has argued in one of his writings on the subject that the amendments brought to the law through an ordinance is a step by the NDA government to rule and impose new laws on the villagers and farmers. The move could be easily described as injustice being meted out to those who don't have the power to appeal, those who don't have the access to raise the issue.
The Modi-led NDA government, which lacks majority in the Upper House of Parliament, had clearly indicated immediately upon taking over the reins of power in the country that it will not shy away from taking ordinance route on the passage of legislations relating to economic reforms. The promulgation of three ordinances in a row in haste is evident of the fact that the government is all set to confront the opposition on major issues because under the Parliamentary democracy system of government, adopted ordinances are rarely issued bypassing the Parliament.
First, supporting the original land acquisition bill and after diluting it, the BJP has made it clear that it is more interested in boosting Modi's Make in India campaign that favors corporations over striking a balance between farmers and industrialists. The move is also indicative of the realization by the BJP that if it is to retain power it should create a huge urban class and empower them, as pro-business policies of the ruling alliance will not help them to fetch votes in the rural areas of the country. Then, why not finish the basic agrarian component of the Indian society without realizing that if this basic component does not exist where will the industries get raw material, grains and food products that are essential for food security to the people of any country.
India has 500-kilometers of paved roads per 1,000 square kilometers, however, the good quality of these roads are far below global standards, close to 90 per cent of highways are structurally inadequate to support 10.2 tones load per axle that trucks carry. India's port and power generation structure are already stretched, and major improvements are required to support the country's growth rate, per the government statistics.
India has launched an array of projects to meet these infrastructure requirements. As of January 2011, over 140 mega infrastructure projects financed by the Centre are under implementation. Each project is worth US $225 million and a combine of US $100 billion. Almost of all these projected projects have been started during the UPA regimes, which have started paying dividends and are now providing opportunity to PM Modi to stake claim on them as NDA's creation.
The World Bank in its report said about 60 per cent of India's land is agricultural land and 70 per cent of country's population is rural. It says all infrastructure projects, and particularly roads that connect cities and farmlands, impact the farmers and their ability to earn a livelihood from farm sector.
There is no doubt that a fast growing economy like India's needs good quality infrastructure to further boost its economy, however, if the farm lands are acquired for sole purpose of infrastructure development and industrialization over the interest of farmers and land owners, the economy cannot grow at a faster rate as there is no balance between two important components of development producers and consumers. The Constitutional duty of an elected government of a democratic country is to protect the interests of all its citizens by creating a level-playing field.
The corporate sector has been demanding from successive governments to reduce the rate of compensation rates of acquired land to stir industrial growth. The difference between previous UPA government and current NDA government was the Manmohan Singh-led government insisted on stringent safety measures to be put in place while acquiring land, which was not agreeable to corporate as they thought compensation rates steep whereas the current has willingly accepted their main demand underlining the interests of farmers because the ruling party doesn't foresee electoral prospects in rural areas.
The leaders of ruling BJP contend that in the last general elections that held in May of last year most of the party and its allies won were from the urban areas.