The decision was taken at a recent board meeting of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited.
New Delhi: People who cede their land for the bullet train project can get the stamp duty of any property they buy reimbursed, provided they do it within three years of handing over the land, a top official said.
The decision was taken at a recent board meeting of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), the implementing agency of the project, which is struggling to acquire land for the 508-km-long high-speed corridor. Sources in the NHSRCL said the agency will pay the stamp duty for such landowners, thus sweetening the pot for them to hand over their land required for the project.
They also clarified that this payment will be over and above the compensation amount given to landowners. In most states, five to seven per cent of the total market value of the property is charged as stamp duty, while one per cent is charged as registration fee.
While 1,434 hectares of land is needed for the project, with 353 hectares in Maharashtra and the rest in Gujarat, the agency has been able to acquire just 0.9 hectare in Bandra-Kurla Complex which has been physically handed over to it, a source had said. The deadline for completing land acquisition for the bullet train project is December this year.
"We want a job for a family member in lieu of our land," said Parashuram Kashinath Gaikwad of Palghar, adding stamp duty payment will only mean something to them if they get enough money to purchase another piece of land. Sources said the Railways has not set any upper limit for the stamp duty and is willing to pay any amount as long as the property - either land or house - is bought within three years of handing over of the land for the bullet train project.
This move comes at a time when the NHSRCL has already offered incentives to landowners as well as panchayats to encourage them to give up their land - from schools, wells and hospitals among other things. In Maharashtra, the NHSRCL is paying four times the circle rate of the land, a 25 per cent bonus on it, and a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh.
On losing a house by giving up the land, the homeowner can either choose a new one built nearby (500 sq feet) or money to buy a new house elsewhere at twice the construction cost. For livelihood loss, the offer is Rs 3,600 per month for one year. There is a provision for a one-time Rs 5 lakh rehabilitation payment to landless agriculture workers, and a one-time Rs 25,000 to employees of shops on land to be acquired.
In Gujarat, the compensation under state laws comes to over four times the prevailing price. The state government plans to offer either 4.75 times the existing prices or the average rate within a 1.5-km radius, whichever is higher. The NHSRCL is offering bonus on the existing price of the land and the same sops as in Maharashtra for livelihood related loss.