The RFCTLARR Act, 2013: state of the law
This is the first session of the two-day National Conference on the, 'Five Year Journey of The RFCTLARR Act, 2013' held on 25-26 October 2018. The session provided a glimpse of various stakeholders' assessment of the Act based on their experience of its working, in addition to focussing on the implications of judicial pronouncements and state legislative action on the basic features of the central law.
The keynote address by Dr Nirmala Buch, former Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, pointed to the need to implement The RFCTLARR Act, 2013 in the true spirit to safeguard the interests of Project-Affected -Families. The panel of speakers included Shri H S Meena, Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources, Shri Anil Gupta, Executive Director, Airports Authority of India, Dr Mahesh Kumar, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Shri Ravindra Shrivastava, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court. The differing perspectives of speakers on the panel drew attention to the inherently contentious nature of land acquisition for public purpose.
While Shri Meena contended that The RFCTLARR Act, 2013 has eased acquisition of land for industrial and infrastructure development, Shri Anil Gupta pointed to the increased financial cost of projects due to enhanced compensation. Dr Mahesh Kumar decried the multiplicity and complexity of processes under the Act and underscored the necessity of amending the Act whereas Shri Ravindra Shrivastava denounced the attempts at dilution of the provisions of social impact assessment and consent through Ordinances and later, state amendments Acts.