Do not blindly oppose Land Acquisition Bill: Venkaiah

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu wants no blind Opposition to Land Acquisiton Bill. - A File Photo. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday appealed to all parties not to oppose the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill blindly for the sake of opposition but to come out with constructive suggestions as the Government was with an “open mind”.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that the bill was needed for the country. “Need for speed is the mantra of development to trigger the sluggish economy” he added.

Maintaining that the bill was pro-poor and pro-farmer, Mr. Naidu said that the NDA Government did not act in haste but held wide consultations. The Chief Ministers and Revenue Ministers from 32 States and Union Territories were invited and extensive deliberations were held. As many as 28 States wanted changes in the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 saying that it would be next to impossible to acquire land under that statute.

He said that with four lakh crore worth projects critical to employment generation, rural infrastructure, manufacturing and industrial growth getting mired in litigation for various clauses, the NDA Government brought the ordinance. The compensation amount to farmers would be four times higher than the market value of land, he added.

The farmers would be made partners in development and no concessions were given for private companies to set up private hotels, private schools and private hospitals. The private companies would have to get consent of 80 per cent land owners and also get social impact assessment done, he said. There would also be Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority to redress grievances at the district level.

Observing that the Government was not standing on prestige on the issue, he said that it was in favour of a meaningful, national debate.

Asked about the options before the Government once it gets lapsed on April 6, he said: “There are provisions in the Constitution and precedents set by the previous government”. He recalled that Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad himself had stated that the Government could re-promulgate the ordinance.


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