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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Pro-poor land acquisition bill to come before cabinet

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 04, 2012
First Published: 00:10 IST(4/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:05 IST(4/12/2012)

The controversial land acquisition bill is back on the cabinet table, factoring in the concerns of the UPA leadership that wanted it pro-poor - farmers and tribals.

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The ministry of rural development on Monday moved a fresh cabinet note, which proposes consent of 80% of the land-losers for the government to acquire land for the industry.

The proposal - a major alteration from the 67% consent as suggested by a Group of Ministers (GoM) - fits the political bill. UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi has reportedly sought a farmer-friendly legislation by raising the cut-off for consent, thus making the acquisition an inclusive decision at the ground-level.

Acquisition and meagre compensation have led to agitations by farmers and tribals in several states. The move comes in the wake of a decision allowing FDI in retail, which the opposition stated as the government's insensitivity towards retailers.

"We have moved the cabinet note," minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh said. The cabinet may discuss the proposals on Thursday.

"Our effort would be to see Parliament passes the bill in the ongoing session," Ramesh said.

The bill though stands distinct for lack of consensus from the very beginning, within the government and outside.

It is still not clear what the consent rate would be for PPP projects.

"The PPP projects decision could be left to the rationale of the state governments," Sharad Pawar, agriculture minister and head of the GoM, earlier said.


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