Besides monetary compensation and a portion of developed land, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) now plans to offer farmers from whom it acquires land for industrial purposes an additional benefit-advice on how to invest the money and land for a sustainable income.
MIDC has roped in consulting firm McKinsey to recommend various investment models to suit farmers in different districts across Maharashtra. “When those who play in thousands suddenly get crores, they don’t know how to manage their money. They end up spending on luxury goods and the money dries up in a few years,” said an MIDC official, adding that McKinsey is studying the current situation around various industrial estates that MIDC owns, and will suggest separate investment options to suit different geographies.
MIDC acquires land under the MIDC Act, 1961, which gives it flexibility to buy land through bilateral negotiations. The corporation pays farmers three to four times the price of land as monetary compensation as well as 15 per cent of the developed land. “Recently, we paid Rs 1.5 crore per hectare for land acquisition in Talegaon. Some farmers end up getting Rs 2-3 crore as compensation,” the MIDC official said.
Among various options that McKinsey is looking at, it is also considering a model where farmers pool in the developed land they get as compensation and use a portion of it for commercial purposes to have a sustained revenue.
Bhushan Gagrani, Chief Executive Officer, MIDC, said, “If farmers pool in land parcels, it becomes a sizeable chunk and there is scope for planned development. Currently, they either sell or haphazardly develop their individual plots. We will have the report ready by the end of the financial year.”
MIDC had several rounds of discussions with farmers, village heads, NGOs and local politicians to understand their requirements. “We don’t have the mandate or machinery to give such advice directly to the land owners, but we have suggested to villagers that we would give them a detailed study of various models that they can choose from. The implementation would have to be at their level,” Gagrani said.