DLF Chairman Kushal Pal Singh termed the ongoing farmer agitation over land acquisition a ‘revolution’ and said farmers whose land is acquired must be paid the potential value of their property and not merely the current market value. But the head of India’s largest real estate company said he was not in favour of retrospective compensation as it would set a grave precedent for all land deals across the country. Land acquisition for industrial and residential projects has become a controversial issue with farmers demanding higher compensation in Noida Extension, on the outskirts of Delhi, which they claim was acquired at throwaway prices under the pretext of urbanisation. Last week, the Allahabad High Court directed that land in Noida Extension be returned to farmers, sending ripples across an industry hit by high home loan rates and low sales. “I believe this agitation will eventually settle down. Two revolutions are happening today. One is a revolution related to transparency and the second is related to acquisition of land. Without land, how can you have development of roads, highways, townships, etc? But it must be done based on rationality. If the government is able to settle these issues in the new Bill (upcoming land acquisition Bill), then we will be a winner, otherwise we will continue with the problem,” Singh said in an exclusive interview. He blamed people living in cities who make laws for the poor without understanding their issues. “All policy framework since Independence has been done by urban people. There is no true representation from rural areas.” Singh urged the government to make rehabilitation integral to land acquisition in the new Bill and said instead of a one-time payment, an annuity-linked payment system stretching over a period of time should be devised. “Land is an emotional issue for the farmer in India. You cannot deal with his reaction by giving him money. Pay the money, but pay the right money,” he said, pointing out that in Haryana farmers receive annuity for 30 years. Singh suggested that land acquisition should be left to private builders, and the government should intervene only to acquire those pockets where farmers are not willing to give up land.