Pointing out that it was on the demand of the states that the government had proposed changes to the land acquisition bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that the land ordinance would be allowed to lapse, restoring the situation that had prevailed before the NDA came to power last year.
In his monthly radio show, Mann Ki Baat, the PM assured farmers his government wouldn’t do anything to hurt their interests and declared willingness to incorporate any suggestion in the land law that would benefit them. He said 13 points would be added to the law to ensure farmers didn’t suffer financial losses.
The ordinance, which was issued thrice, had removed the consent clause and social impact assessment, among other provisions, to make the land law more “industry-friendly”. It now expires on Monday.
Targeting the Opposition, the PM said the amendments to the 2013 law were proposed in the first place on the demand of the states, but that misinformation was spread about the law that scared farmers.
“Many rumours were spread about the bill. So much fear was instilled among farmers. We don’t want that. Farmers should neither have doubts nor fear,” Modi said, adding that he would not allow anybody to create such fear. “For our government, ‘Jai jawan, jai kisan’ is not just a slogan but a mantra.”
Pointing out that “amending the bill had become essential to free it from red tape”, the PM said the government was open to suggestions.
“Every voice is important but the voice of farmers is extremely significant.”
Read: NDA issues executive order on land bill
Making it official that it was abandoning the ordinance route, the Centre had on Friday issued an executive order to ensure continuity of higher compensation and rehabilitation for land-losers irrespective of the purpose for which their land had been acquired.
Modi said the government had incorporated 13 aspects of village development in the ordinance but the matter had become complicated because of controversies. “Now, since the ordinance is being allowed to expire, the government has notified rules for these 13 aspects that will come into effect from today to address this incomplete work,” the PM said.
With the notification of rules, farmers will get compensation for land acquired as per the existing Act of 2013, sources said.
Speaking over the recent incident of violence in Gujarat, Modi said the quota agitation has shocked and pained the nation.
"The recent incidents of violence in Gujarat has upset the entire nation. Whatever happens to the land of Gandhi and Sardar Patel, the nation is shocked and pained first," he said.
The PM further asserted that development alone can solve all problems. “Peace, unity and brotherhood are the only correct way and we have to walk shoulder to shoulder on the path of development as only it is the solution of our problems,” he said.
Earlier this week the PM had also appealed for calm and underlined that the government is committed to the welfare of all people.