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Ramesh disfavours ordinance route for Land Acquisition Bill

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 19:24

New Delhi: Expressing confidence in getting support of all parties for the Land Acquisition Bill, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday disfavoured using the ordinance route to bring the crucial law.

"I would be very hesitant to bring it through an ordinance," he said when asked whether he would prefer this route for the bill like was being considered by the government for the Food Security Bill.

Both the Land Acquisition Bill and the Food Security Bill are priority legislations for the UPA but are stuck for long.

Describing Food Security Bill as "a priority item", he refused to say anything on government`s effort to bring an ordinance on the key legislation.

Ramesh said so far there is no discussion in the government on bringing ordinance on the Land Acquisition Bill.

"All I can say is that... On Land Acquisition Bill, my personal preference would be to go through with a debate and discussion in the Monsoon Session or a special session. We have got an all-party consensus on the bill," he said.

Noting that the land bill has gone through "unprecedented all-party efforts", Ramesh said two "crucial amendments" suggested by BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, have been incorporated "in toto to her satisfaction".

A broad consensus was reached among political parties during the recess period of Budget session of Parliament in April over the much-awaited bill after the government gave in to a key demand of BJP for 50 percent compensation to the original farmers whose land has been purchased after the introduction of the bill in Lok Sabha in September 5, 2011.

Government also agreed to another demand of BJP, which had suggested that instead of acquisition, land could be leased to developers so that its ownership will remain with the farmers and would provide them with regular annual income.

But Parliament could not take up the bill because of disruption.

"I have accepted four amendments suggested by (CPI-M leader) Basudeb Acharia. There was an all-party consensus. So I don`t expect any problem with the bill if Parliament is allowed to function," Ramesh said.

Ramesh said the Rural Development Ministry has had written suggestions from nine political parties -- BJP, Shiv Sena, TDP, BJD, CPI (M), CPI, DMK, AIADMK and Trinamool Congress -- on the bill.

"In fact, all political parties have given written comments. Then I have given written responses to each of them, saying how their concerns have been incorporated," he said.

Asked whether he was hopeful that the government would be able to pass the bill in Parliament, he said, "If the Parliament is allowed to function."

"We have got the Cabinet approval to amend the Registration Act of 1908 which will support the Land Acquisition Bill. All parties wanted Land Acquisition Bill," he said.

Hitting out at the BJP for disrupting Parliament proceedings, he said there are three Ds in a democracy-- debate, discussions and decision.

"The BJP has added a fourth D- disruption," he added.


First Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 19:23

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