DELHI: With the new Land Acquisition Act coming into force, government today sought to allay apprehension of the industry, saying there is no bar whatsoever on purchase of private land.
"You want land? Go buy the land," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said when asked about his message to private industry on a day the new law came into force.
Investors had expressed apprehension that the new law, which replaced over a century old act, would make land acquisition more expensive for industrial and infrastructure development.
Ramesh said that the new act applies only to the land acquired by central and state authorities for any public purpose.
He, however, said that there is no bar whatsoever, on purchase of private land.
According to him, industry must look beyond land acquisition by government and explore land purchase opportunities.
"From today onwards, no land can be acquired under 1894 Act. From today onwards, all land will be acquired under the new Act," the minister said asserting that the new law was enacted to address "widespread and historical injustices" done to tribals and farmers who were subjected to forceful displacement while acquiring land using the old Act and land acquisition more transparent.
Ramesh said from today, the government will not acquire any land for private investors for their private projects.
"A private builder building condominium cannot expect government to acquire the land. Why should government acquire land to a private builder to build country homes for the well-offs," he said.
The historic Act to provide just and fair compensation to farmers was passed by both Houses of Parliament last year with overwhelming majority during its Monsoon Session. It had received Presidential assent on September 27.