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UPA's land act was defective, says Arun Jaitley

Defending the NDA`s ordinance amending the land acquisition law, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the act enacted by the previous United Progressive Alliance government was "defective" and "against India`s security interests".



New Delhi: Defending the NDA`s ordinance amending the land acquisition law, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the act enacted by the previous United Progressive Alliance government was "defective" and "against India`s security interests".

Participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the President`s Address, Jaitley asked Congress not to create an atmosphere where infrastructure and industry were treated as "bad words".

Noting that a campaign had been launched that the ordinance brought by the National Democratic Alliance government was "anti-farmer", he said the law enacted by UPA had put 13 acts dealing with acquisition in the exempted category where no consent or social assessment was required, while the ordinance has carved out five exceptions where the complicated process of land acquisition will not apply.

He urged Congress members not to make any remarks which create an atmosphere detrimental to industry. 

"I request you with folded hands. Don`t create an environment where infrastructure, industry become bad words," Jaitley said.

He said that defence and security was among the five areas in the exempted category in the ordinance, adding the UPA law had provided defence in the urgency category but not exempted category and land acquired for the purpose required social impact assessment and consent of 70 percent of people dependent on the land.

"It was a defective piece of legislation against India`s security interests," Jaitley said.

He also took a dig at Shiv Sena, a part of ruling NDA, which has spoken against some provisions of the ordinance.

"You are more nationalist than us. How this (UPA law) plays with nationalism, think about that also," Jaitley said pointing to Shiv Sena member Sanjay Raut.

He said the government was willing to share with some members of Congress how the land act had come in the way of raising some strategic installations.

Jaitley also noted that rural infrastructure including irrigation was in the exempted category in the ordinance, which seeks to amend the law to remove consent clause for acquiring land for five categories - defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land.

Despite Arun Jaitley's defence, will a united Opposition be able to scuttle the land bill? in Nation on LockerDome

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