Land act amendments: Law minister rules out ordinance route

There is proposal for amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said today, while ruling out the ordinance route for effecting the proposed changes.

"There is a proposal. The call has to be taken by the concerned (Rural Development) ministry," he said, without elaborating on the proposed changes.

Asked whether there is a plan to bring an ordinance, he said, "No, not ordinance, an amendment (bill)." 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had last week said the government will amend the "tough" land acquisition law even if the opposition does not support as it looks to restore confidence in the economy.

"Some changes may be necessary (to the Land Acquisition Act). We will first try to reach a consensus and if that is not possible we will go ahead and take the decision," he had said, addressing India Global Forum meeting here.

The Land Acquisition Bill, passed during the erstwhile UPA regime with then opposition BJP supporting it, seeks to set a fair compensation for farm land being taken over for industrial projects. But the law has made land acquisition very difficult, affecting speedy implementation of projects.

States too have come out openly against the law saying it had hurt the process of acquiring land for infrastructure projects. Jaitley had said that the "obstacles" to the land laws would have to be first removed in order to implement the concept of smart cities in India.

The Rural Development Ministry has already suggested a number of amendments to the Land Acquisition Act that will water down provisions such as mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent locals for acquiring land for PPP projects, and 80 per cent for private projects.

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