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It is revealing that in neither the US or China, at opposite ends of systems of governance, is any consent required when land is acquired for public purpose.

无论在美国还是中国,也无论是政府系统的正反决策,当提到因公征地问题时,都无法达成一致。

India is not the only country with a widespread belief in exceptionalism. Wikipedia describes the term as "the perception that a country, society, movement, or time period is unusual or extraordinary in some way, and thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles".

全世界并非只有印度的大量国民相信自己的国家是可以"例外论"的,。维基百科的"例外论"定义如下:"一个国家、社会、一种运动、或一段时期,从某种意义上讲,是特殊而不平常的,因此没有必要服从于普遍的规定或原则。"



Also, whether we are ready to finally accept that, though much can be done to improve farming, it is simply unsustainable for the sector to continue to provide livelihoods to 60% of our population. And whether our farmers' children can have realistic alternate career opportunities or are destined to be trapped in ever more fragmented, marginal farming. And finally, whether we as a nation at all believe that it is possible to create millions of jobs in manufacturing and services.

另外,无论我们是否准备好接受这个论调,事实都是,即使有很大空间可以改善农耕,也无法仅靠农业继续养活我们60%的人民。无论我们农民的儿女有现实的第二职业发展机会还是注定固守在支离破碎的边缘化的农耕生活,也无论我们所有国民是否相信能够在制造和服务业创造几百万的工作岗位,都无法改变上述事实。

During the years-long process that led to the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act of 2013, the two most controversial aspects of the national debate were consent of land losers and compensation that they and those employed on their land ought to get. Till then, a 19th century Raj-era law had often been abused to dispossess farmers and others at a fraction of what would become the market price of their land after usage restrictions were lifted.

数年之后迎来了2013年的"土地征用、改造和重新安置"法案,举国讨论的两个最富争议性的问题是如何征得被征地者的同意以及支付他们及其雇员应得的补偿。此前,在用地限制取消后,官员们经常滥用一项19世纪的法令,以市场价的一小部分来征夺农民和其他人的土地。

The issue of what percentage of the land-owners concerned would need to consent to an acquisition went through many convoluted iterations. An empowered group of ministers subcommittee of the Cabinet turned out to be not so empowered after all, when its recommendation was overruled and increased to 70% (and 80% for private companies). In scheduled areas this was further compounded by other overlapping laws, which essentially gave a veto to each panchayat, rather than, say, a majority of them in the entire area being acquired.

到底需要有多少比例的地主同意被征地这一问题经历了错综复杂的探讨。印度内阁的一个部长组成的小组委员会虽然有权处理此事,但其提议被否决,而且被征地者的比例增加到了70%(其中80%是私企), 所以,小组委员会终究显得力不从心。在已经安排好征地的地区,其他重叠的法律又搅混了进来,这基本上要否决每个村长老会的提议,而不是整个地区的大多数人被征地。

Even at the time, these were widely considered unworkable. The experience of these intervening months has only made that clearer, as even most of those opposing the recent changes admit in private. Of course, we don't need to blindly emulate other countries and must discern between their practices. And, to some degree, we have.

即使时至今日,这些做法普遍被认为没有成效。这么多月来的经历只是把这个事实摆明的更清楚,甚至连对近期变革的反对派都私下里承认了。当然了,我们无需盲从其他国家,而必须要认清彼此的实情。从某种程度上讲,我们做到了。

For instance, the Chinese definition of public purpose is vague, whereas India's is specific. But our definition is far narrower than in the US where in some cases private development has been deemed to constitute public purpose.

例如,在中国,"为公"的概念是模糊的,而在印度是具体的。然而我们对"为公"的定义比美国狭义的多,在美国的某些情形下,个体的发展是"为公"的一部分。

Similarly, the US emphasis on 'just compensation' for acquired land is worthy of emulation and our 2013 LARR Act goes to great lengths to ensure fair compensation and rehabilitation. Oddly, the initial outrage at the proposed new legislation included allegations that the compensation clauses were being rolled back. Whether that was deliberate or not, it quickly became apparent that was just not true, and the debate has since remained focussed on consent and other procedural aspects.

类似地,美国对"合理补偿"征地的重视值得借鉴,而且我们2013年的"土地征用、改造和重新安置"法案不遗余力地保证被征地者享受到合理的赔偿和再安置。奇怪的是,关于新提案的最初愤怒于补偿条款把征地补偿削减了。无论是否蓄意为之,这件事情很快证明是假的,争论此后就集中在了征得被征地者的同意和其他程序方面的问题。

Once again, the studies, procedures and clearances mandated by the 2013 Act go far beyond what either the US or China follow, requiring a minimum of 50 months for projects to get the go ahead. And that assumes every stage of a complicated series of steps would work like clockwork, without any delays or extensions. Anyone who understands anything about the viability of infrastructure projects knows this is a sure-fire way to make them unviable.

再者,2013年法案授权的研究、程序和许可超过了美国或中国所能遵从的,项目要求至少50个月才能获得批准。这还假定一系列复杂的步骤都按部就班地进行,无耽搁或延期。任何人只要对基建项目的可行性一知半解,都知道这是一条绝对行不通的路。



Instead of looking in the rear view mirror at what has not worked in the past, we would be better served to benchmark what works in most of the world. It is incumbent on government now to ensure that compensation is unclogged and front-ended, that infrastructure is expedited and new jobs made visible, that education is reformed to promote employability. If we don't, counterintuitive as this may sound, some of the worst affected will be India's farmers.

我们不应该为过去没有做成的事情而牵绊,而应该向在全球大部分地区行之有效的标准靠拢。现在就靠政府来保障征地补偿顺利实施,预先支付,加快建设基础设施,让人们看到新的就业岗位,改革教育以提高就业水平。否则,最受打击的一些人将会是印度的农民,尽管这很不符合直觉。