Land Acquisition Bill likely in current session

Last Updated: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 15:20

New Delhi: The much-awaited Land Acquisition
Bill, aimed at protecting the interests of farmers, is likely
to be introduced in Parliament during the current Monsoon
session, the government said on Thursday.

"The Bill is in public domain to get suggestions and
comments. I am in touch with the chief ministers of states and
also leaders of political parties... Hopefully we will bring
the bill in this session only," Rural Development Minister
Jairam Ramesh said in Lok Sabha.
He said during Question Hour that there is a dilemma
whether to implement the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation
and Resettlement Bill retrospectively or from prospective
date.

"Normally this is implemented from prospective date...I
have received some suggestions saying it should be done
retrospectively with cut-off date. We will consider all
suggestions before taking a decision," he said.

Replying to a volley of supplementaries, the minister said
the bill will not only protect the interests of farmers and
owners of the land but also those whose livelihood is
dependent on this land.

The bill, however, does not stop private parties from
buying land for private purposes.

On the controversy over acquiring land for public purpose
but diverted for others, Ramesh said "...public purpose is
very broad. In my opinion public purpose is development of
infrastructure, railways, roads and highways and not malls and
shopping complexes."

Ramesh said the bill has been prepared after carefully
reviewing the existing state laws and it has been made clear
that multi-crop irrigated land cannot be acquired under any
circumstances.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) demanded that government must take
back the land given to various companies under the name of
SEZs especially in cases where no progress has been made.

To this Ramesh said there are as many as 18 laws for land
acquisition and SEZ is one of them. What will happen to the
existing laws after this bill, he wondered.

"There is a provision in the bill that if the land is not
used for the purpose for which it is acquired then that land
will be returned," he said.

Ramesh said a decision will be taken after getting
suggestions from various quarters on whether this bill will be
an overriding law or a facilitating law.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 15:20

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