In order to start a housing society acquisition of land is a first step and the Land Acquisition Act 1894 also encourages the housing companies as it is reflected from the preamble of this Act. This enactment is the most important law relating to housing industry of Pakistan. When this enactment was promulgated its preamble was designed in such a way that private sector along with Government is encouraged to acquire land for public purposes. This enactment is a double-edged instrument. For Pakistan this enactment in its present shape is not proving to promote housing industry rather a major reason for undermining investment in the housing industry of Pakistan. Most of the housing societies in Pakistan do not acquire land for the housing societies under Land Acquisition Act 1894, so, there is a gap between theory and practice. The actual practice is that housing developers purchased lands from their own resources at high prices and then sell it on very high prices resultantly providing housing units to only rich people. In its present shape there is a very cumbersome process to acquire land under Land Acquisition Act 1894 and the Act hinders the speedy acquisition of land for housing industry. Land Acquisition Act 1894 provides for payment of compensation of land acquired on the basis of market value but in practice the price of the lands acquired under this Act are paid on the basis of registration documents which are undervalued. There is massive litigation on the point of determination of market value additionally, approves the position to get land apparently for a 'public reason', inside the importance of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The article aims to explore and analyze the relevant law with respect to acquisition of land for housing societies as well as to find out obstacles faced by housing societies in acquiring the land. The discussion would also be helpful to check the efficacy of present law of land acquisition in achieving goal of housing for all. For that critical analysis of the relevant laws is done by using qualitative sort of research.
Keywords: Land Acquisition Act 1894, Housing Societies, Pakistan, Gap, Theory and Practice.