The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCLARR) was enacted in 2013 replacing the land acquisition policies prevalent in the country since 1894. A year later, the Government of India on December 31, 2014 issued an ordinance making significant changes to the Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for areas of industrial corridors, public private partnership (PPP) projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence. Noteworthy are the exemptions related to Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and consent of affected communities if these related to the afore-mentioned five areas. In effect, the new ordinance negates the significant gains made through the 2013 Act that would have benefited project-affected communities. Worrisome also is that the ordinance promotes land acquisition in favor of large-scale industrial, infrastructural and defence related expansion.
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