PIB News Update: Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta has informed that Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources(DoLR), which is the nodal Ministry dealing with land acquisition matter, have informed that the land acquisition is undertaken by the Central and State Governments under various Central and State Acts, including the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the provisions of the RFCTLARR Act 2013 are implemented by appropriate Government as defined under Section 3 (e) of the said Act. DoLR has also informed that they do not centrally maintain data relating to land acquisition (including displaced tribal communities) by States or other authorities.
The Government is aware of the impact on tribal community due to such acquisition of tribal land. To address the issue of Land Acquisition and displacement of tribals, Constitutional and legal provisions for safeguarding the rights of tribals to land are already in place as under: –
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, in section 4 (5) states that save as otherwise provided, no member of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or Other Traditional Forest Dweller shall be evicted or removed from the Forest Land under his occupation till the recognition and verification procedure is complete.
- Government has enacted the RFCTLARR Act, 2013. The purpose of the said Act is to ensure, in consultation with institutions of local self-government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution, a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and the other affected families and provide just and fair compensation to the affected families whose land has been acquired or proposed to be acquired.
- Under Section 48 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCTLARR Act, 2013 in short), a National Level Monitoring Committee for Rehabilitation and Resettlement has been constituted in the DoLR vide DoLR’s Order No. 26011/04/2007-LRD dated 2nd March, 2015 for the purpose of reviewing and monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement schemes and plans related to land acquisition under the RFCTLARR, 2013 and National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007.
- By way of safeguards against displacement special provisions have been made for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Sections 41 and 42 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 which protect their interests. The RFCTLARR Act, 2013 also lays down procedure and manner of rehabilitation and resettlement.
- The First Schedule of the RFCTLARR Act provide for compensation for land owners. The Second Schedule provide for element of rehabilitation and resettlement for all the affected families (both land owners and the families whose livelihood is primarily dependent on land acquired) in addition to those provided in the first Schedule. Similarly, the Third Schedule provide for infrastructural amenities for a reasonably habitable and planned settlement in the resettlement area.
- The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, also provides that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas or development projects and before resettling or rehabilitating persons affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas; the actual planning and implementation of the projects in the Scheduled Areas shall be coordinated at the State Level.
- Constitutional provisions under Schedule – V also provide for safeguards against displacement of tribal population because of land acquisitions etc. The Governor of the State which has scheduled Areas is empowered to prohibit or restrict transfer of land from tribals and regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such cases.