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Land acquisition bill deferred till Budget session

New Delhi,Dec 18: The controversial Land Acquisition Bill is set for further delay as its consideration was deferred on Tuesday by the Lok Sabha till the next session bowing to the wishes of Opposition members.Parliamentary
PTI December 18, 2012 22:24 IST
PTI
New Delhi,Dec 18: The controversial Land Acquisition Bill is set for further delay as its consideration was deferred on Tuesday by the Lok Sabha till the next session bowing to the wishes of Opposition members.



Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the Bill will be taken up for consideration as the first measure in the budget session.

His statement came following pleas by BJP member Rajnath Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) and Saugata Roy (TMC) for more time to discuss the provisions of the Bill which will have a wide ranging impact on farmers and industries.

The Bill provides for a fair compensation to land owners in both rural and urban areas with the stipulation that consent of 80 per cent of the people for acquiring land for private industry is necessary.

Despite Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council pushing for the law for long, the Bill has been hanging fire for sometime. It was referred to a GoM in the wake of differences in the Cabinet over certain provisions in the Bill, which has been described by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh as a balanced one.

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament in September last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its recommendations in May.

Opposing the consideration of the Bill in the current session, Mr. Rajnath Singh said the Bill is being moved when the session is coming to an end in two days.

“This is not a simple Bill. It should not be hurried through. Had it been brought at the beginning of this session, we would have agreed to a discussion. Moreover, not all recommendations of the Standing Committee have been accepted in the Bill. So either the session should be extended or the Bill brought in the next session,” Mr. Singh said.

Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) spoke on similar lines and said the law will have an impact on farmers. “We want this Bill be taken up in the next session. It is an important Bill as land under agriculture is going down while the population is growing. The Bill should be discussed in the next session,” he said.

Pressing for deferment of the Bill, Mr. Acharia complained that copies of the proposed legislation were circulated to members only this afternoon and it has been brought hurriedly before the House. He pointed out that 155 amendments have been moved with the Bill.

Mr. Saugata Roy said the Land Acquisition Bill was not mentioned in today's list of business and only one day was given to study the amendments.

He said the Bill had gone to the Standing Committee earlier but all its recommendations have not been included.

Hence it should be discussed in the next session.