Lok Sabha passes land bill; Congress, BJD stage walkout
The Lok Sabha passed the amended Land Acquisition Bill on Tuesday after the government told the Opposition it was ready to accept its suggestions if they were in the interest of farmers. The Congress, BJD and TRS walked out of the House during the proceedings.india Updated: Mar 10, 2015 20:21 IST
The Lok Sabha passed the amended Land Acquisition Bill on Tuesday after the government told the Opposition it was ready to accept its suggestions if they were in the interest of farmers. The Congress, BJD and TRS walked out of the House during the proceedings.
Ahead of the voting on the contentious bill, the government indicated its willingness to incorporate more changes into the bill in order to address the concerns raised by Opposition parties and has proposed 9 amendments.GVoting on land bill begins in Lok Sabha
The amendments to its proposal included restricting land for industrial corridors, putting in place a hassle-free mechanism for grievance redressal and removing the exemption to social infrastructure projects in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
The original act required the consent of at least 70% of land owners in the area where land is to be acquired for such projects.
"After consultations with the cross section of society, including political parties, farmers' organisations and various other agriculture-related organisations, we have brought these amendments," rural development minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told PTI.
"Still, we are open to more suggestions -- suggestions which are in the interest of the farmers and agriculture. But this should also be seen that development continues," said Singh.
Asked whether the government was ready to make further changes in the bill, the minister said that some of the amendments have already been move by the Opposition.
"If something comes out, we have to see that. But the legislation should be passed," he said expressing confidence that the bill would be cleared in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The land bill was debated in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The NDA government had already circulated the list of amendments it plans to bring. It has proposed substantial changes to the controversial land acquisition bill to seek wider support from an agitated opposition which has slammed the amendments to the 2013 act, calling it "anti-farmer".
Government sources said that all eight allies of NDA, including the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, had expressed solidarity with the government on land issues at a meeting convened by parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, along with Naidu and Singh, briefed the leaders on the land bill and the amendments moved by the government to address their concerns.
The meeting was attended by TDP leaders Ashok Gajapati Raju and YS Chowdhary, Anant Geete and Anil Desai of Shiv Sena, Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan of LJP, Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal, Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland People's Front, Raju Shetty of Swabhimani Paksha, Prem Das Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front and Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Akali Dal.
The BJP has asked its MPs to be present all day long in both Houses of Parliament for passage of crucial bills including the land bill in Lok Sabha and the coal and mines bills in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The party has already issued a whip to all its MPs for ensuring their presence in both the Lower and Upper Houses all through the week, up to Saturday, as crucial bills seeking to replace ordinances promulgated by the government have been lined up during the week.
Stating this at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Naidu told the MPs about the business conducted during the last week and that proposed during this week while seeking cooperation of all to ensure passage of crucial bills.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present at the meeting but did not speak.
Rural development minister Singh gave details of the proposed amendments in the land bill to be brought by the government.