Land Ceiling Act repeal in limbo
The all-party meeting held on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on the proposal to scrap the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act 1976.
The Left Parties and Janata Dal (S) opposed the move tabled by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh while the Bharatiya Janata Party was also against CM's proposal and said it was not invited for the meeting.
Deshmukh confirmed rejection by JD and Leftists. "They (Leftists and JD) said no to our proposal but most of other parties favoured it," he told the HT at a Congress function on Thursday evening.
But he was hopeful of getting BJP's approval as well. Shiv Sena didn't commit anything but said it would convey views in writing to the government as soon as possible.
Janata Dal and Leftists representatives argued that ULCA was enacted to help government procure land at lower rates.
"It helped government to offer cheaper housing to the needy,"' senior Janata Dal leader Mrinal Gore was reported to have told the meeting. She didn't answer her cell phone when contacted.
According to Deshmukh, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party were all for repeal as it would enable government get grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.
The state has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Rs 28,000 cr JNURM grants. But it would get the money only when ULCA is repealed by September next.
"How do you expect us to attend the meeting without invitation?" asked the BJP general secretary Vinod Tawade. "Anyways, it's the Congress-led government's ploy to help builders. We're not interested in discussing the matter when we don't know the government policy."
Shiv Sena representative Madhukar Sirpotdar didn't commit anything but said his party would write to the government exptressing views on the ULCA. The Sena sources said the party would not stand in favour of repeal.