With the Congress pitching for uniform four-time compensation to farmers, chief minister Virbhadra Singh will attend the NITI Aayog's second governing council meet to discuss the contentious land bill on July 15.
The second meeting of the NITI Aayog is scheduled to discuss the land acquisition bill facing opposition from the Congress and other parties. In a bid to bring all chief ministers on board, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the chairman of the NITI Aayog, has convened the meeting the governing council which has chief ministers and a few Union ministers as member.
Additional chief secretary (revenue) Tarun Shridhar would accompany the CM as the revenue department has prepared a complete agenda and state’s point of view regarding the land bill. The CM would raise the issue of central assistance for acquiring land in Himachal.
The chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states were reported to have supported the BJP government's amendments on the consent clause, scrapping of social impact assessment and provisions related to return of unutilised land, but they have had to toe the party line and later opposed the changes.
In Himachal, the CM’s son and state Youth Congress chief Vikramaditya Singh has spearheaded the campaign opposing the Modi government’s move to introduce amendment in the bill brought by the previous Manmohan Singh government. The state government, in third week of March, enhanced the compensation rates for land acquisition as per the bill introduced by the Manmohan Singh government. A revenue department official said: “The price for acquiring urban land will go up four times while in case of rural land, the rates will be twice of the present rate after the cabinet nod.”
The first meeting of the NITI Aayog governing council was held on February 8 this year in which sub-groups were constituted.