Nod by 80 pc landowners must for private projects
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The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is learnt to have agreed for different criteria of "consent" of landowners for land acquisitions for government, private companies and PPP projects. This has come following an intervention by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Pawar is earlier learnt to have approved "no consent" requirement for land acquisitions for all government projects. He has finally agreed to make consent of 80 per cent of landowners mandatory for land acquisition by the government for private companies. This provision will apply to acquisitions for private projects (private industry) and public purpose projects (like power generation) alike for private companies. For land acquisition by the government for PPP projects will require the consent of two-third of landowners only.
The GoM in its last meeting on October 16 had agreed for uniform two-third consent requirement for PPP and private projects alike proposed by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. However, Ramesh was learnt to have pitched for 80 per cent consent requirement with Pawar after the GoM concluded its deliberations in an apparent bidding on behalf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Given the fact that Ramesh himself had proposed uniform two-third consent requirement in his proposals bebore the GoM, Pawar was learnt to have taken by surprise by this sudden volte-face by Ramesh. The Agriculture Minister, in this context, held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week to seek his opinion on the fresh changes.
"A political compromise was arrived after Pawar's meeting with Prime Minister on October 25," said a source.
The changes along with others will now be incorporated into the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill and referred to all the 14 members of the GoM afresh for their final views.
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