Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada)
Patna: The industries department is formulating a new policy to look after the interests of both the investors and the landowners of the state.
Principal secretary, industries, Naveen Verma on Tuesday said: “The policy, in its final leg, would allow the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) to buy land from landowners at the current circle rates. Moreover, the policy, which would go to the cabinet for approval shortly, would ensure that land owners are at advantage even when they have sold their plots to Biada.”
“At present, we are consulting other departments on the draft policy. Till now, Biada doesn’t buy land, rather it acquires land and then provides the same to the investors. According to the new policy, Biada would be given the authority to buy land directly from the landowners and pay them the price according to the circle rates. Once Biada buys a plot, it would be developed as announced and handed over to the potential investor. However, 10 per cent area of the developed plot would be returned to the landowner to be used in any way he wants. We hope this move would encourage landowners to give their plots for industrial use. For example, if Biada buys 100 acres from a landowner, 10 acres would be returned to the person. The landowner would have the basic infrastructure ready like facilities of power and drainage system among others,” Verma added.
Department minister Bhim Singh also confirmed the same. “The policy, we feel, would attract landowners. They should understand that giving away their plots for industrial use is a matter of pride,” he said.
At present, apart from Biada, which claims to acquire land from time to time, the state government has schemes such as private industrial area policy and Aao Bihar through which investors get land. They can even scout for plots themselves.
However, experts said the new policy could find less takers.
“The Centre’s Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2012, is already in place which seeks to provide fair compensation to farmers four times more than the market price. Under this scenario, a landowner would want to have his land acquired rather than selling it to Biada as he would get four times the land price. In June last year, landowners forcibly stopped work on the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bihta demanding one land-one rate. They tried to cash in on the act passed then. How and why does the department feel that the landowners would sell land and not opt for acquisition?” said a member of the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries preferring anonymity.
Department officials, however, didn’t feel the same.
“Earlier, very few people in Bihar were ready to sell their plots. Now, they have opened up. People are willing to give their land under the Aao Bihar initiative. The department is giving back developed land to the landowner. A developed land has got lots of takers always. The choice of using the land would lie with the landowner. The department is sure that they would be interested,” said principal secretary Verma.