“Land Acquisition” literally means acquiring of land for some public purpose by government/government agency, as authorised by the law, from the individual landowner(s) after paying a government fixed compensation in lieu of losses incurred by land owner(s) due to surrendering of his/their land to the concerned government agency.
The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 is a law in India that allows the government to acquire private land in those countries.
The Land Acquisition act has been criticized by groups that view the act as weak and ineffective, and by groups that view the act as draconian. It has also been argued that the property valuation techniques are flawed and that the land owners get to peg the value higher than the real value, based on ‘potential value’ and ‘opportunity value’ of their property; resulting in, what is claimed as, a heavy strain on public finances and restrictions on the scale of development and redevelopment projects. There is also opposition to the additional payment of solatium to landowners over the property value.
It is for this reason that government has proposed further amendments in the Act to strict define the purposes for which land could be acquired.
India should aware that agricultural development in India could be achieved only with the reform of India's rural institutional structure. It was said that the extent of the utilisation of agricultural resources would be determined by the institutional framework under which the various inputs were put to use.
By 1972, laws had been passed in all the States to abolish intermediaries. All of them had two principles in common: 1) abolition of intermediaries between the state and the cultivator and 2) the payment of compensation to the owners. But there was no clear mention about just and equitable compensation. Therefore, the Zamindari Abolition Act was challenged in the High Courts and the Supreme Court. But the Government accomplished the task of abolishing intermediary tenures bringing nearly 20 million cultivators into direct contact with the state. Nearly 57.7 lakh hectares were distributed to landless agriculturists after the successful completion of the Zamindari Abolition Act.
The efficacy of the legislation was, however, considerably reduced for the because of:
The act did not benefit sub-tenants and share croppers, as they did not have occupancy rights on the land they cultivated.
Intermediaries were abolished, but the rent receiving class continued to exist.
Many landlords managed to retain considerable land areas under the various provisions of the laws. Benami holdings became the order of the day in many States.
The problems of transferring ownership rights from the actual cultivators of the land, the tenants, the sub-tenants, share croppers, therefore, remained far from resolved.
Result, land reforms remain incomplete and unfinished.
The tenancy reform measures were of three kinds and they were 1) regulation of rent 2) security of tenure and 3) conferring ownership to tenants.
It is time we thought seriously of land reforms when especially a "humble farmer" is on top. If in the new century we still talk of reforms without effective implementation we will surely miss the bus...!!@