Govt considering ‘flexible’ approach towards land bill

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2015 00:15 IST
With the land acquisition bill facing stiff opposition, the Centre is mulling a change in its strategy and let states enact their own legislation on the controversial land law. (Arun Sharma/HT File)

Even as uncertainty looms over one of its key reform bill — to roll out the goods and services tax — the government is mulling options to dilute its land bill to evolve a consensus around the contentious legislation.

Sources said that the Centre may insert a new provision in the bill empowering the states to take a call on imposing social impact assessment and consent clause on different projects.

Sources told HT the land resources department had prepared a note in this regard for the Union cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Some ministers, however, felt that the government should wait for the joint committee on land bill to come up with its proposals before taking a final call on diluting the proposed law.

The proposed land law amendments take away the right of farmers to reject any acquisition bid for private projects and the abolition of social impact assessment in some category of projects. The government’s rethink on the bill comes after it faced widespread protests from various stakeholders and failed to evolve a political consensus on the bill.

A senior NDA minister also pointed out that some of the states like Maharashtra and Haryana already have their own laws relating to land acquisition.

But the plan so far has not impressed the Opposition. In the joint panel meeting on land bill, Congress leaders pointed out that in case of a contradiction between the state law and the Central law, the national law will override the state law.

On Monday, a day before the monsoon session started, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged different parties to come together on land bill.

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