Acquisition cost of land

photoIndia’s new land acquisition Bill, praised in some quarters and reviled in others, is a complex piece of legislation. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday and will likely be passed by the Rajya Sabha shortly as well. The government has issued a document explaining the tenets of the Bill that offers a comprehensive explanation of a law that will change how land is acquired and owners are compensated in India.

Some frequently asked questions on the land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation Bill:

What is the significance of the new title ‘The right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement Bill 2012’?

photoThe title of the old law conveyed that its primary purpose was to expedite the acquisition of land. However, the principle objective of the new Bill is fair compensation, thorough resettlement and rehabilitation of those affected, adequate safeguards for their well-being and complete transparency in the process of land acquisition. The title has been amended to reflect this.

Why is there a need for a new Bill?

There is unanimity of opinion across the social and political spectrum that the current Law (The Land Acquisition Act 1894) suffers from various shortcomings. Some of these include:

photo• Forced acquisitions: Under the 1894 legislation once the acquiring authority has formed the intention to acquire a particular plot of land, it can carry out the acquisition regardless of how the person whose land is sought to be acquired is affected.

• No safeguards: There is no real appeal mechanism to stop the process of the acquisition. A hearing (under section 5A) is prescribed but this is not a discussion or negotiation. The views expressed are not required to be taken on board by the officer conducting the hearing.

• Silent on resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced: There are absolutely no provisions in the 1894 law relating to the resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by the acquisition.

• Urgency clause: This is the most criticised section of the Law. The clause never truly defines what constitutes an urgent need and leaves it to the discretion of the acquiring authority. As a result almost all acquisitions under the Act invoke the urgency clause. This results in the complete dispossession of the land without even the token satisfaction of the processes listed under the Act.

• Low rates of compensation: The rates paid for the land acquired are the prevailing circle rates in the area which are notorious for being outdated and hence not even remotely indicative of the actual rates prevailing in the area.

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Q&A

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Acquisition cost of land?

The following expenditures were incurred by Rosenberg Company in purchasing land: cash price $74,970, accrued taxes $4,830, attorneys’ fees $4,190, real estate broker’s commission $1,640, and clearing and grading $5,640.
What is the cost of the land?
Please help! Thank you!

All costs incurred to purchase land and prepare it for its intended use are included in the recorded cost.
cash price $74,970,
accrued taxes $4,830,
attorneys’ fees $4,190,
real estate broker’s commission $1,640,
and clearing and grading $5,640.
= $91,270