Indian farmers could get six times more cash for their land under a new land acquisition bill aimed at accelerating industrial development in Asia's third-largest economy.
The bill is seen as key to defusing longstanding tensions over land purchases, a politically charged issue that has delayed mega-projects such as South Korea's planned $12-billion steel plant to be built in eastern India.
Industrialisation has been touted by economists as a way to create faster growth and pull hundreds of millions out of poverty.
But acquiring land for factories, roads, housing and other projects has created battlegrounds across traditionally agrarian India.
The legislation aims to "balance the need for facilitating land acquisition" for infrastructure, industrialisation and other development while "addressing the concerns" of farmers, a government statement late Friday said.
The bill, intended to replace a more than century-old law framed by India's former British colonial users, proposes giving owners as much as six times the currently quoted price for their land when it is taken over for development purposes.
Also the consent of 80 percent of project-affected families would be required if the government acquires land for industrial or other public use under the draft legislation.
The legislation is seen as vital to the ruling Congress party's bid to win support from farmers in local elections next year in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh and national polls in 2014.
The Congress party is trying to assuage resentment of farmers who say their lands have been taken away cheaply and that they been left with no other means of livelihood.