Land Acquisition Act, 2013, may be back in force from September as the NDA government is inclined not to issue a fresh ordinance after the current one lapses on August 31.
The NDA government had brought the land ordinance for the first time in December 2013, making drastic changes in the existing law including removal of consent clause and social impact assessment for industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.
In the absence of political consensus and a lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha, the NDA regime had to resort to the ordinance route thrice and is unwilling to promulgate it the fourth time.
“There may not be a new ordinance. The chief ministers have suggested that the issue be left to them and we have almost decided to let it be,” a government source told HT.
A joint committee of Parliament examining the amendments proposed by the government has failed to achieve a breakthrough and sought more time to finalise its recommendations.
“Leaving it to the states is the best option at this moment. We need to push growth to create employment and attract investment. Our purpose would be met even if states are able to formulate a pragmatic law of their own,” a minister said.
The NDA regime’s decision not to push for amended land acquisition legislation could be a big blow to its plans to accelerate private investments.
Concern is also building in the government about the logjam over the constitutional amendment bill to roll out goods and services tax (GST), originally scheduled to be in place from April next year. The government is now exploring the possibility of a convening a short session of Parliament to get it passed.