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Cabinet approves re-promulgation of land Ordinance

The Ordinance was promulgated for the first time in December last year.

New Delhi: Government on Saturday decided to re- promulgate the controversial land Ordinance, saying it is necessary for maintaining continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land is acquired.

Once approved by President Pranab Mukherjee, the Ordinance would have been promulgated for the third time and will be the thirteenth executive order of the Narendra Modi government since it came to power in May last year.

"The Cabinet has approved again the land acquisition Ordinance to maintain continuity. As you are aware, the Bill is before the Joint Committee (of Parliament) and the old Ordinance will lapse on June 3," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The government also came out with a statement about the Ordinance.

Prasad said that the re-promulgation was necessary as the amendments to the 2013 Act include 13 central Acts for ensuring compensation to farmers whose land is acquired for certain types of projects.

"To ensure that there is no problem in compensation to farmers, we have approved the recommendation for re-promulgation... It shows our commitment to the farmers," he said.

The minister said if the Ordinance is not brought again, then, legally-speaking, there will be no framework for the states to compensate farmers.

He also said that the re-promulgation was required "just to obviate the apprehension of any ambiguity or uncertainty".

A Bill based on the earlier Ordinance is pending before a parliamentary panel and Prasad clarified that the fresh Ordinance will be a copy of that and has no new provisions or changes.

The Ordinance was promulgated for the first time in December last year to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Ordinance was replaced by a Bill. Despite being passed in Lok Sabha with 10 official amendments, the government has not taken it to Rajya Sabha as it lacks numbers there.