Govt proposes to incorporate changes in controversial Land Acquisition Bill
Reuters | Photo Credit: Narendra Modi

The government is all set to end the tussle over the contentious Land Acquisition Bill as it has proposed to tweak several provisions suggested by other parties in the Bill, which seeks to replace the colonial-era Land Acquisition Act 1894, several media reports said.

The amendments introduced by the central government in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015, include the one related to ensuring a hassle-free mechanism for grievance redressal of those whose land is acquired by allowing affected families to approach district authorities, and restricting land for industrial corridors.

Among others changes to the Bill, the government will also look at creating a 'bank' of barren land and ensuring jobs for at least one member of displaced families. According to media reports, the government has proposed six to seven amendments to the Bill to break the political deadlock.

Rural Development Minister Birender Singh moved the Bill for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha on Monday, despite strong opposition to the Bill by the opposition parties who had demanded to refer the Bill to a parliamentary standing committee for threadbare scrutiny. The Opposition parties dubbed the Bill as draconian, pro-corporates and anti-poor.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also told the Lok Sabha that “the government is willing to go in for amendment in the (land) Bill in the larger interest of the community and the country”. He also expressed the willingness to go in for 52 amendments moved by the Members of Parliament.

In December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an executive order to exempt projects in defence, rural electrification, rural housing and industrial corridors from provisions of the 2013 law that required 80 per cent of affected land-owners to agree to a deal, remove the need for coporates to conduct a social impact study for such projects, among others.

The government has also proposed to delete the provision which had provided for prior sanction of the government for a court to take cognisance of an offence under relevant section of Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Land Acquisition Bill, which seeks to replace an Ordinance issued in December to amend the Land Act 2013, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 24.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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