Asserting that the new land acquisition bill will be introduced in parliament next week, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said the states will be free to have their laws on the issue.
"We have discussed the draft land acquisition bill. We plan to introduce it in parliament next week after the approval of the cabinet. The chief minister has expressed broad support for the bill, particularly the R&R (rehabilitation and resettlement) package," said Ramesh after a meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
He said Banerjee also reiterated that state government should be free to have its own land acquisition law.
"There is no compulsion in the central law. The state governments can have their own law. And I think with the approval of the chief minister, we can introduce the bill in parliament," said Ramesh.
While expressing her happiness over the new modified bill, Banerjee said the new central bill should not create any hindrance for a state government to have its own land laws.
"We welcome the union government's stand to introduce a new land bill by scrapping the old land law of 1894. It is not mandatory that we will agree on each and every point, we will give our opinion when the bill is discussed in parliament. We have told that we are also formulating our own land law for the state which is in its final stages," said Banerjee.