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Indian president approves Land Acquisition Bill
September 27, 2013, 2:18 pm

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee [AP]

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee [AP]

The Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday approved and signed into law the Land Acquisition Bill, which strives to provide fair compensation to landowners and outlines measures to rehabilitate those affected by land sales.

The bill was passed by the upper house of the Indian Parliament earlier this month on September 4.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Law 2013 will replace legislation from 1894 and increase compensation for forced and large land sales.

As the second largest growing economy in the world expands there have been increasing concerns for a rural populace that are being forced to sell their land for industrial and commercial use.

The new legislation will now ensure that buyers pay four times the market value for land earmarked for infrastructure projects in rural areas.

Earlier in July, Global steel major POSCO had to pull out of a $5.3 billion steel mill project in India.

“With the given market conditions and significant delay in acquiring the required land in Gadag, we have decided to close our proposed 6-MTPA [million tonnes per annum] steel plant in Karnataka,” POSCO India Chairman and Managing Director Yong Won Yoon said in a statement.

Massive protests in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka resulted in delays in acquiring mining rights and land acquisition by the South Korean firm.

Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E M Sudarsana Natchiappan said this week that the bill will not adversely impact industry and instead urged the industry to reach out to people of those areas where they propose to set up projects and explain about the advantages locals can have in terms of employment and development.

“You have to bring (local) people on board (while acquiring any land for a project),” Natchiappan said

With inputs from Agencies