A day after a parliamentary panel sought to end state intervention in land acquisition for industry — both private and PPP, two cabinet ministers expressed their disagreement with its main recommendation.
“State governments must have a role in land acquisition process — more so at a time when industrialisation and urbanisation have become inevitable and desirable,” minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh said. “Country has not yet reached a stage of development where state’s role can be abandoned altogether.”
Terming it ‘regressive’ commerce minister Anand Sharma said the recommendation will hurt industrial growth and investment and that “he will oppose the suggestion when it comes up before the cabinet”.
“Government role can be confined to public purpose — a role at times met by private industry like airports, power plants etc. The notion that private companies only make profit is not I believe in,” Ramesh told reporters at a press conference.
The ministers’ reaction to a House committee report on Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 outside the House came even as Parliament was in session.
“I have taken on board the concerns of the industry. We would be placing this very firmly before the cabinet because we cannot take any step which in fact goes against the original spirit and de-industrialize the country or brings down industrial growth and investment,” Sharma said.
Ramesh echoed the view and said he would consult various stakeholders — states and ministries — to decide on issues like acquisition of cropland.
Ramesh, whose ministry is nodal body for the bill, said the endeavour will be to incorporate as many views as possible and bring the bill in monsoon session. “The report is not binding. We will explain why some recommendations are not accepted.”
With inputs from PTI