Defence ministry does a U-turn on proposed land bill | india news | Hindustan Times
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Defence ministry does a U-turn on proposed land bill

The defence ministry has the largest land holding and changes in the land bill would affect its expansion programme and the creation of new defence infrastructure.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2017 23:26 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Defence secretary Sanjay Mitra said the ministry was satisfied with the proposed provision related to the non-utilisation of acquired land. But on November 7, the ministry had said there was a need for improvement of the provision. 
Defence secretary Sanjay Mitra said the ministry was satisfied with the proposed provision related to the non-utilisation of acquired land. But on November 7, the ministry had said there was a need for improvement of the provision. (AFP)

The defence ministry has taken a U-turn in a key provision of the proposed land bill within six days.

Defence secretary Sanjay Mitra on Monday told the Parliamentary joint panel reviewing the legislation that the ministry is satisfied with the proposed provision related to the non-utilisation of acquired land. But on November 7, the ministry’s note to panel stated that “there is a need for improvement of the provision”.

When BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab and CPI(M)’s Mohammed Salim sought to know the reasons behind the change, Mitra said, “The ministry reviewed the situation and came to the latest conclusion.”

But opposition members feel the ministry changed its reply under political pressure.

Section 24 (2) of the proposed bill says if an award has been made at least five years before the new law comes into force but if physical possession of the land has not been taken or compensation not paid, the earlier acquisition shall be deemed to have lapsed.

The ministry has the largest land holding and changes in the act would affect its expansion programme and the creation of new defence infrastructure.