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Land acquisition: floor rates fixed in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Haryana Cabinet today took, what the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, described as a “historic” decision to fix the floor rates of compensation to be paid to landowners in case their property is compulsorily acquired by any government department or agency in the public interest.

The entire state would be divided into three zones, each having a minimum rate at which land would be acquired in addition to 30 per cent solatium and 12 per cent interest on compensation from the date on which the notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act would be issued. The notification under Section 4 expresses the intention of the government to acquire a particular piece of land and any sale or purchase of that land is banned after the notification.

Briefing newsmen after the Cabinet meeting Mr Hooda said the urbanisable area of Gurgaon in the Haryana sub-region of the National Capital Region (NCR) would have a minimum floor rate of Rs 15 lakh per acre.

The rest of the Haryana sub-region of the NCR, including Panchkula and the area of Chandigarh periphery in Haryana, would have a minimum floor rate of Rs 12.50 lakh per acre. He said for the rest of the state, the minimum floor rate would be Rs 5 lakh per acre.

The committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner would continue to perform its duties while fixing the rate of compensation for various categories of land under acquisition based on these floor rates. It would continue to take into account all those parameters for working out the land acquisition price being followed at present while communicating the price to the acquiring department or agencies in the state.

The new system of compensation would check the exploitation of farmers at the hands of unscrupulous persons who used to enter into agreements with them to purchase their land at throwaway prices once Section 4 was invoked. The farmers would sell their land as they became panicky and did not know what price they would get from the government. Owing to their proximity to the powers that be, such unscrupulous persons would later prevail upon the political leadership to withdraw the notification once they had purchased the bulk of the land to be acquired.

Now a landowner would know the minimum price he would get from the government and he would not sell his land to any unscrupulous person at a rate lower than that. A natural fallout of the decision, which is likely to be widely hailed by the farming community, would be that a private person who wanted to set up a project, too, would have to pay at least the floor rate.

Mr Hooda said the new system was also likely to decrease litigation to a large extent because landowners often moved the courts against inadequate compensation.


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