Sonia Gandhi forces changes, makes land acquisition tougher
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Fresh changes have been made in the draft Land Acquisition Bill under which the level of consent of landowners for acquiring land for private purpose has been made stiffer following a suggestion from UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The percentage of land owners, whose consent is a must for acquiring land for private purpose, has been raised from 67 per cent to 80 in the proposed bill.
Disclosing the changes in the measure, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who heads Group of Ministers on the bill, said consent of land owners was not not required for acquiring land for public purpose.
The proposed changes will soon be circulated among 14 members of the GoM for their views and consent, he told reporters after a brief meeting with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on the issue.
"A detailed discussion was made in the last GoM. Some of them suggested changes and these were discussed and finalised today," he said.
The key changes include consent of 80 per cent of landowners if government acquires land for private purpose.
The changes come against the backdrop of recommendations of Gandhi suggesting raising the consent level of land owners for acquiring land for private purpose.
In the last meeting on October 16, GoM had approved for a provision for consent of two-third (67 per cent) of land owners for acquiring land for private purpose.
Asked if raising the of quantum of consent of land owners will upset the private industry, Pawar said "if that is the case, then industry can purchase privately."
On rehabilitation issue, the minister said it will be made compulsory if land is acquired under public private partnership (PPP) while the state government will decide in the case an individual purchase land for personal use.
Some concessions will be given for acquiring land under PPP for public purpose. The concessions will be decided by the state governments, he said.
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