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Sunday, Dec 05, 2021
Outlook.com
policy: rehabilitation

Budge An Inch

It's a new policy for oustees, but only just

Budge An Inch
Atul Loke
Budge An Inch
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It is this—the recent SEZ-related controversies—that have compelled the government to make displacement a priority issue, say PMO sources. A new National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, intended as an improvement on the NDA one introduced in February '04, has, therefore, been drafted and sent to the state governments for comments. The policy will, thereafter, be posted for public scrutiny before going to the Union cabinet and, possibly a group of ministers. Lastly, it will be given a legal framework. "This will provide a uniform minimum standard for the states," says an official.

The new draft policy suggests a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) along with the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for all projects displacing "400 or more families en masse in the plains or 200 or more families en masse in tribal or hilly areas". The SIA will then be discussed at a public hearing and scrutinised by a multi-disciplinary expert group. The NDA policy not only did not speak of a SIA; it was applicable only when 500 or more families were displaced in the plains or 250 in hilly or tribal areas.

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