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Sinha Seeks Empathy for Landowners.

Acquiring Land without Offering Jobs & Opportunities for Landowners’ Families is Simply not Possible in the Country, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Saturday, Echoing the Views of Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, who said Present-Day Indian Politics Make Instantaneous & Coercive Dispossession of Land Impossible.

“Dispossession without Development under the Land Acquisition Law of 2013 & Today’s Political Economy is simply not Possible. Compensating them [Land Owners] 4 Times the Market Value [of Land] is Well-Established, but it’s not Enough, because in the Political Economy of India Currently, as Nobody will give up Land without Getting a Job,” Mr. Sinha said.

“Jobs & Security are Vital; Otherwise Dharnas Or Hartals (Protests) Begin & it’s Not Possible to Move Forward. People will Prostrate themselves in Front of Excavation Equipment & not Allow you to Proceed,” he Noted, adding that Resettlement Efforts need to Inculcate Empathy for the Landowners for whom the Loss of Land is a “Traumatic Change”.

Politicization of Land Acquisition Efforts make it Doubly Hard to Arrive at a Common Ground as Land is an “Emotive Issue” that is easy to Polarize People over, Mr. Sinha Remarked at a Discussion during Oxford University’s 1st South Asia Conclave held in the Capital.

Mr. Ramesh, a Rajya Sabha Members, said that most of the Political Debate Focuses on the Central Land Acquisition Law while most Land for Coal, the Railways & Power Projects, was Acquired under other Legislation.

Contentious Law

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had Amended the Country’s Contentious 1894 Land Acquisition Law in 2013 & Introduced 4 Key Pillars, which were Missing in the Original Legislation, around Compensation, Consent, Social Impact Assessment (SIA), & Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R) Measures.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government had Issued an Ordinance to Amend the Law that was seen as Difficult for Investors, but it did not Follow Through with Legislative Changes.

Political Debate has Focused on Consent & SIA Norms, said Mr Ramesh.