Opposition may stall the bill that replaces December ordinance
GN Bureau | February 24, 2015
The land acquisition bill to replace an ordinance has been introduced in Lok Sabha on Tuesday despite opposition crying foul. The government had promulgated the ordinance making significant changes in the Land Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas — industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.
The prime objection to the land acquisition ordinance has been that it removed the need for written consent from 70% of landowners for joint public-private projects.
The bill (Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015) will replace the ordinance promulgated in December last year. The ordinance had had brought changes in the earlier bill passed in 2013 by the UPA government.
Defending the ordinances in the Rajya Sabha, finance minister and leader of Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that any ordinance signed by the president needed to be tabled in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
He pointed out that the Congress had brought various ordinances while it was in power. He listed them with a smile and all this amid constant protests by Congress MPs.
"Lok Sabha will debate it. When the legislation comes to this house you can defend it...But you cannot prevent the Lok Sabha from debating it," Jaitley said.
Congress's Anand Sharma retaliated by saying that the party had only brought ordinances in the interest of people and not for the benefit of corporates. He alleged the BJP was trying to take away the source of income for hundreds of farmers.
"Why does the government bring out an ordinance every 27 days?...this is against the interest of the people," he said.
As other MPs began shouting to be heard, Jaitley was back on his feet asking them not to do 'bayan-baazi' before the legislation came up for hearing in the Rajya Sabha.
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