Land in India is problematic, largely because of archaic and perverse provisions in the practice and the law. The new Land Acquisition Amendment Bill does go some way to correct the anti-democratic and imperial provisions of the old 1894 Act. Other regulatory restraints stand in the way of fair compensation to sellers whether the deal is a sale or an acquisition using eminent domain. Urban planning being based on the "Ricardian Model" and on top of asymmetrically applied regulatory constraints further depresses the benefit to land owners. As a result very little land is obtainable without dispute and high risk for infrastructure development. This paper provides an analytical critique of the law and restrictions as also of the framework of urban planning and gives a justification for why major change is required in the approach to land markets, land acquisition and urban planning. It also showcases the key elements of a reformed approach that can create a win-win framework for development. In addition, the paper makes some suggestions on how the proposed Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act can be changed to make the Act functional and remove the residual perversities therein.

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