A day after Jairam Ramesh was made cabinet minister for rural development, Jairam Ramesh said a single legislation on land acquisition and relief will be introduced instead of two separate bills on the same.
UPA chief Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) had proposed the single law for land acquisition. Ramesh's predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh refused the proposal wholly, but allowed some suggestions such as giving land compensation at six times its value and remuneration for the landless.
Deshmukh, who took charge of rural development six months ago, is now minister for science and technology — a low profile department.
"Yes, there will be a single legislation for both land acquisition and compensation," Ramesh said at a meeting attended by NAC member N C Saxena on Wednesday.
Ramesh said the bill will take into account the NAC's proposals, such as “redefining the public purpose for acquisition”, to make it farmer-friendly.
He said the draft bill will be placed for debate next week and the bill will be introduced in the monsoon session, said Ramesh.
Rahul Gandhi has been rallying for farmers' cause in UP, and he also assured a better national law on land acquisition.
In May, the NAC proposed a National Development, Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, suggesting the government can acquire land for various projects with approval of 70% of the affected people.
Ramesh was also a member of the NAC during UPA 1. Then he was inducted into into the Manmohan Singh government as MoS commerce.
Known for his active approach, Ramesh engaged himself with stock taking of the biggest social sector ministry with a budget of R88,000 crore.
He could not have insisted continuing at an office whose face he was for two years, so he brought with himself all his set-up from Paryavaran to Krishi Bhavan.
From decorated frames of deities like Balaji to his favourite table from the commerce ministry times to even carpets, the former environment minister has not left any of his 'belongings' behind. He has brought almost everything with him.