Parties fail to reach consensus on land bill
A special meeting of the government with key opposition parties and outside supporters on Thursday failed to break the deadlock over the long-pending land acquisition (amendment) bill.
While the government is keen for an early passage of the bill, Left and Trinamool Congress opposed it with Samajwadi Party chief also demanding fresh riders to stop setting up industries on multi-crop land.
The BJP remained non-committal and leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley asked for a final draft of the bill incorporating all amendments and all related reports. He said that the BJP will clear its stand after reviewing these documents. The next meeting is fixed on March 20.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath called this meeting to build a broad consensus. But even as CPI(M)'s Basudeb Acharia demanded that the bill should be reviewed by a parliamentary panel as it has 182 amendments, Trinamool's Sudip Bandyopadhyay opposed any government role in acquiring land for private industries or public-private partnerships.
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, however, argued that there are only 28 key amendments.
The land acquisition bill as approved by the Cabinet mandates consent from 80% of land losers to acquisition of land for private projects. The consent would be 70% in case of public-private partnership projects.
Who said what:
Arun Jaitley (BJP): Give us a fresh draft bill. We will take a stand after reviewing the bill.
Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) and Sharad Yadav (JD-U): Multi-crop land should not be acquired for industry or housing.
Basudeb Acharia (CPM): Bill should be sent to standing committee as changes include new amendments not considered by committee earlier.
Sudip Bandopadhyay (Trinamool): Government should not acquire land for industry in any case.
Jairam Ramesh: We are confident that the bill would obtain consensus and be passed in the ongoing session.