Land Bill may go to House panel
Express, May 11, 2015
The government may
refer the land Bill to a joint parliamentary panel comprising 30
Earlier in the day, the government had introduced the new
version of the Bill in the Lok Sabha amid protests from
Opposition parties who termed the proposed legislation as
The ?Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land
Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Second
Bill, 2015′ was tabled by rural development minister Birender
Singh after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the contentions of
the Opposition parties that a similar bill is pending in the
In her ruling, Mahajan said ?there is no bill identical to the
one being proposed that is pending? and put the introduction of
the Bill for voting of the House.
However, the legislation is expected to be referred to a joint
panel of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as the ruling NDA does
not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. Realising that NDA does
not enjoy a majority, the earlier reworked land Bill was not
introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, amid noisy scene, parliamentary affairs minister M
Venkaiah Naidu said the government was not going to pass the
Bill today but was only introducing it.?This is a pro-farmer
legislation,? he said.
If the Opposition goes on making political comments and
criticising, the government cannot sit watching, he said.
?What is bulldozing? we (the government) want to take the
majority view. We have some suggestions (on the Bill),? he said.
On March 10, the Lok Sabha had passed a land Bill where the NDA
government had managed to retain crucial exemptions from the
onerous Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and consent requirements
for a wide spectrum of infrastructure projects and urbanisation
ventures. These included defence, rural infrastructure,
affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure
projects, including those under PPP mode where the government
owns the land.
This implied that land acquisition for PPP projects in sectors
like highways, ports, etc, won?t be impeded by the requirement
of obtaining consent of 70% of landowners. Neither will there be
need for SIA of the affected families.
Such consent and SIA were mandatory under UPA?s Act, which was
amended by the ordinance. The NDA had also refused to put riders
on acquisition of irrigated multi-crop land.
The government clarified that land acquisition under the law for
industrial corridors will be only for those set up by the
government and its undertakings. Given that purely
private-sector industrial projects are a rarity, this change
doesn?t signify much. It also removed ?social infrastructure?
from projects exempted from SIA and consent requirements but
again, since rural infrastructure remains in the exempted
category, the impact would be minimal.
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