The focus of the Land Acquisition Bill should be on farmers and minimum fertile land should be acquired, senior BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan, who heads Parliament's Standing Committee on Rural Development, has said.
"Farmers should be at the centre of the legislation because they are losing land," Mahajan said. The bill has been referred to the panel chaired by her.
On the use of fertile agricultural land for industrial development, Mahajan said, "I am of the view that as far as possible, minimum fertile land should be acquired."
Observing that the bill will affect a large number of people, she said, "It will have repercussions. We should not rush into this. We will have to think from all angles".
Mahajan is expected to submit the committee's recommendations within three months.
"We have to take states into confidence and leave some space for them. We have to take industrialists, corporates and builders into confidence as they have their own views on the subject," she said.
"It is essential that when you are acquiring land, interests of those who give the land, should be protected. Land is national wealth," Mahajan said.
Problems related to land acquisition are different from state to state and this aspect needs to be looked into, Mahajan, who represents Indore Lok Sabha seat, said.
"There are some states where infertile land is more. But there are some areas, like Malwa region where I come from, which are totally fertile. Does this mean that in Malwa, there won't be any development?" she said.