ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Land Acquisition in West Bengal

Deb Kumar Bose’s ‘Land Acquisition in West Bengal’ (April 28) misses a number of points and evades some issues. First of all, the “market price of land” is not easy to judge in a situation where the land market is not competitive. For different categories of interests attached to land, perceptions about market price are different. What is a just price for an absentee landowner may well be unjust for an owner-cultivator. Persons belonging to the latter category do not usually want to sell their multi-cropped land except under conditions of distress.

Deb Kumar Bose’s ‘Land Acquisition in West Bengal’ (April 28) misses a number of points and evades some issues. First of all, the “market price of land” is not easy to judge in a situation where the land market is not competitive. For different categories of interests attached to land, perceptions about market price are different. What is a just price for an absentee landowner may well be unjust for an owner-cultivator. Persons belonging to the latter category do not usually want to sell their multi-cropped land except under conditions of distress. If the existing rate of inflation in the economy is taken into consideration, the compensation money is far less attractive than it appears at first sight.

Secondly, it is not clear how far the government has protected the interests of the bargadars of Singur. Under the existing legal provisions, a bargadar (sharecropper) is entitled to 75 per cent of the produce of the land he cultivates. But the bargadars of Singur have been given only 25 per cent of the compensation money.

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