Prez hopes Land Bill will be passed in Budget session
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday expressed confidence that Parliament will enact the much- discussed Land Acquisition Bill in this Budget session.
"My government has recently introduced important official amendments to the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill. I am confident that the law will be enacted," he said in his maiden address to the joint sitting of Parliament, heralding the Budget session.
In the Winter session of Parliament, the government had to defer the controversial Bill till the Budget session after bowing to the wishes of Opposition members.
The opposition MPs had sought more time to discuss provisions of the Bill which will have a wide ranging impact on farmers and industries.
The government has already stated that the Bill will be taken up for consideration as the first measure in the Budget session.
The Bill provides for a fair compensation to land owners in both rural and urban areas with the stipulation that consent of 80 per cent of the people for acquiring land for private industry is necessary.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act continues to break new ground in the government's effort to provide work to those who seek employment during times of hardship, he said, while mentioning the government's various social security schemes.
"Around five crore households were provided employment under the scheme in 2011-12," Mukherjee said.
He said the government is giving priority to addressing the problem of contamination of drinking water sources. "During 2012-13, five per cent of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme Fund has been earmarked for allocation to states facing this problem," Mukherjee said.
He said the government has accorded increased priority to rural sanitation recognising its crucial role in reducing the burden of various diseases.
"The Total Sanitation Campaign has been modified in the form of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan with the goal of providing access to sanitation for all rural households by the year 2022," he added.