Ministers clear land bill, make it pro-industry
A group of ministers (GoM) on Tuesday cleared the contentious and long-pending land acquisition bill, paving the way for its introduction in the winter session of Parliament after cabinet approval.delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2012 01:00 IST
A group of ministers (GoM) on Tuesday cleared the contentious and long-pending land acquisition bill, paving the way for its introduction in the winter session of Parliament after cabinet approval.
The fresh bill says land can be acquired for public-private-partnership or private projects only with the consent of two-thirds of “livelihood losers and land losers”. The previous bill sought the consent of 80% of affected people.
The bill will have no retrospective effect. “Instead, there will be a cut-off date for implementation of its provisions, to be decided later,” a GoM source said.
It will also have a cut-off date for applicability. “Finance minister P Chidambaram pointed out that two different laws — the 1894 and 2012 laws — cannot be in practice simultaneously,” rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said.
To protect tribals, the bill says “approval” of gram panchayats will be required to buy land in schedule areas.
The bill came to the GoM following sharp differences within the government over acquisition norms and compensation. Within the GoM too, several ministers had opposed the retrospective clause and the original proposal for 80% consent.
“On each and every issue on which there were differing views, we succeeded in bringing some understanding,” GoM head and farm minister Sharad Pawar said. “The bill is finalised.”