The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Land bill put off to next session

- Govt accepts Opposition demand for more time to discuss changes

New Delhi, Dec. 18: The Centre today deferred consideration of the land acquisition bill to the budget session, bowing to Opposition demand.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh tabled the Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill in the Lok Sabha. This bill has over a hundred amendments over the original Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill.

But the bill was not taken up for discussion as Opposition parties, including the CPM and the Trinamul Congress, said it had been brought in a hurry. They demanded that the bill be deferred to the next session for proper discussion.

“I heard the member. I respect your views. This is an important bill. The session cannot be extended for lack of consensus. We will discuss it in the next session. We will bring it in the beginning of the next session,” parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said.

Before Nath, Trinamul MP Saugata Roy said the MPs should get at least a day to study the bill and suggest amendments. He said the bill was not listed yesterday but was brought today.

“Many amendments have been brought in this bill which have not been discussed in the parliamentary standing committee. We want this bill to be withdrawn or sent to the committee,” Roy said.

CPM MP Basudeb Acharia and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said the bill had been brought in a hurry and should be deferred.

BJP MP Rajnath Singh criticised the government for delaying the bill and suggested that the House would need ample time to discuss it.

“The session may be extended or the bill may again be sent to the standing committee or it may be brought in the budget session,” Singh said.

The key amendments include changes in the consent provision for acquiring land for private industry or PPP project. The original bill said 80 per cent of the landowners and people dependent on the land for livelihood would have to give consent for land acquisition.

According to sources, the new bill says the consent of 80 per cent of landowners and people on government-assigned land will have to taken for acquisition for private industry.

For PPP projects, consent of 70 per cent landowners and people on government assigned land will have to be taken.

Consent of people dependent on the land for their livelihood is not required for acquisition either for private industry or for PPP projects.