Govt ready to go the extra mile on land Ordinance: Venkaiah Naidu

 Faced with fierce attack on the land acquisition ordinance, government on Wednesday said it was ready to deliberate on opposition suggestions and "go the extra mile" to prevent any injustice to farmers and to strengthen their hands.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 25, 2015, 17:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Faced with fierce attack on the land acquisition ordinance, government on Wednesday said it was ready to deliberate on opposition suggestions and "go the extra mile" to prevent any injustice to farmers and to strengthen their hands.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also said in Lok Sabha that the Ordinance was brought "in the need of emergency" as it was important to kick start the economy which was facing a "developmental holiday" in the last 10 years.

The Opposition --Congress, CPI(M), TMC and AAP-- staged a noisy walkout when the Minister claimed that the government does not want to bring Ordinances and accused Congress of having a bad track record on the issue of promulgating Ordinances as their governments had brought as many as 637 Ordinances in 62 years.

Targetting the Left parties and the Janta Parivar, Naidu said the United Front government had brought in 77 Ordinances. He was intervening in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address.

While staging the walkout, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Minister of "insulting" the opposition and assured him of a counter-attack when they have their say.

Seeking to pacify those opposed to the controversial Ordinance, Naidu said: "If there are some lacunae and drawbacks in the land acquisition act, we are ready to deliberate on them. We are always ready to give patient hearing.

"We will not let any injustice happen to farmers. We are ready to go extra mile to strengthen the hands of farmers".

Naidu's remarks came a day after NDA's second most important constituent Shiv Sena opposed the controversial Ordinance, so also another constituent Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana, amid fierce resistance from almost the entire Opposition.

Seeking to pacify those opposing the Ordinance, Naidu insisted that the land acquisition act was in the interest of the people and for their development. "All these years there has been a developmental holiday".

Maintaining that land would be acquired for public and not private purposes, Naidu said "this legislation will kick start the engine of growth. The Coal Ordinance, the e-rickshaw Ordinance, all are important Ordinances."

"We don't want to bring Ordinances, we want to deliberate. If you allow Parliament to function, Ordinances will not be necessary. We do not have any fancy for Ordinances," he said.

Incidentally, Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant, who was the first speaker from the Treasury benches to speak on the Motion, came down heavily on the Union government asking if the farmers do not have land available for irrigation, how will they earn their livelihood.

"We are trying to pass a law without their (farmers') consent. They have fear in their mind and I hope government will take action keeping that in mind," Sawant said.

Highlighting the issues of poverty alleviation, illiteracy, farmer suicide, treatment to women, shortage of housing as some major challenges facing the country, Naidu said the NDA government would focus on speedy development and governance.

On the Centre accepting the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, the Minister said the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided on the matter with a view to empower the states.

"This will go as a golden letter day in the history. The government has accepted the recommendations despite one member giving dissent note," he said.

The 14th Finance Commission has recommended a record 10 per cent increase in the states' share in central taxes to 42 per cent, which has been accepted by the Centre. This would give the states an additional Rs 1.78 lakh crore in 2015-16.

Naidu said "Modi now stands for 4D -- Decisive, Dynamic, Development and Devolution."