Govt pushes rehabilitation law for farmers
With the model code of conduct likely to come into force by the end of this week, the government is racing against time to put a law in place to implement a farmer-friendly resettlement and rehabilitation policy. Apart from higher compensation the policy will also introduce a resettlement-before-displacement rule. This implies that those displacing farmers will have to first provide them alternative sites.
On Tuesday, a group of ministers cleared official amendments to the Land Acquisition Act and decided to move Parliament for passage of the legislation introduced in December 2007.
Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad might seek passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
A formal approval would be sought at Thursday’s cabinet meeting.
Acquisition of thousands of acres, from special economic zones to industries, is stuck in anticipation of the law that will provide farmers a forum to air their grievances.
Till last year, the commerce ministry had approved 57,412 hectares of land (574 square km) to build 404 SEZs.
There are no authoritative figures on the number of farmers in the country affected by acquisition of farmland for industries.
Prasad hopes to deliver a generous compensation package to farmers who lose their land. He also wants the govern ment to ensure that the process of deciding the compensation package is transparent.
The legislation was stuck with the group of ministers for nearly six months.
A parliamentary panel recommended that the government acquire land required by private parties and hand it over to them.
Prasad, however, insisted that the government should not be seen to be acquiring land for private industrial groups and made land acquisition conditional to the private entity buying 70 per cent of the project land.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.