All-party meet tomorrow for consensus on land bill

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 22:57

New Delhi: With differences dogging the contentious land acquisition bill, government will make a fresh attempt to evolve a consensus at an all-party meeting on the issue on Thursday.

The first all-party meet on the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, here on April 9 had failed to iron out the differences between the government and BJP, SP and the Left Front.

Subsequently Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has been reaching out to leaders of various political parties to sort out areas of disagreement, sources said.

The bill seeks to address problems of industry regarding acquisition of land for setting up projects. It provides for land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced people and proposes to replace the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

Over the past one week, Ramesh met BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and CPI(M)`s Sitaram Yechury, seeking their support for the bill.

BJP had suggested that instead of acquisition, the land could be leased to developers as it was a "better proposition" because the land will remain with the farmer and would provide him with regular annual income.

"If land is not utilised for the purpose for which it was leased, it could be returned to the farmer," Swaraj had said in the April 9 meeting.

Facing stiff resistance from CPI(M) on the present form of the Bill, Ramesh today held discussions with its leaders, including Yechury, S Ramchandran Pillai and Basudeb Acharia.

Last week, the minister met CPI leader D Raja to assure him that his party`s concerns over the proposed legislation will be looked into.
Ramesh had also held separate meetings with SP leader Ramgopal Yadav and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav.
According to sources, the government is confident of building a consensus on the issue in the meeting tomorrow.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 22:57

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