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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

BJP on board; DMK, Left oppose land bill

Prasad Nichenametla , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 19, 2013
First Published: 01:59 IST(19/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:10 IST(19/4/2013)

The government, on Thursday, managed to bring the BJP around on the land acquisition bill by agreeing to add a lease provision as proposed by the party.

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The development, just ahead of the budget session’s resumption on Monday, facilitates passage of the contentious bill.

“A broad consensus is reached on the bill,” leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said after a third round of the all-party meet convened by parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath to sort out the differences.

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The government has agreed to bring an enabling provision in the bill under which land could be leased to developers with the ownership rights remaining with the farmers who receive a regular income for the lease.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, also agreed to a suggestion to route about 50% of compensation on acquired lands bought since September 2011 – when the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha — to the original landowners.

BJP and Shiv Sena contended that land mafia bought large swathes of land from farmers anticipating a huge hike in land value following the bill.

However, the bill’s passage in Parliament would not be smooth. Though softening on their stand of referring the modified bill to a Parliamentary panel, the Left parties said the bill fails to protect the farmers.

 “There is a lot of dilution from the original bill. We would move amendments when the bill is taken up in the house,” CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha Basudeb Acharia, who took part in the meet, told reporters.

DMK, which pulled out of UPA in March said the bill runs against the federal structure. TMC, Shiromani Akali Dal and BSP were absent from the meeting.


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