The Trinamool Congress-led government is considering withdrawal of the West Bengal Acquisition of Homestead Land for Agricultural Labourers,Artisans,Fishermen (Amendment) Bill,which was tabled in the Assembly by the former Left Front government,on the ground that it will enact a separate and exclusive land acquisition legislation.
Sources close to the state government argued that since the new government has drafted a new bill – West Bengal Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 – which has the provision of compensating agricultural labourers,artisans and fishermen against acquisition of land,there is no need for a separate legislation for them.
The West Bengal Acquisition of Homestead Land for Agricultural Labourers Artisans Fishermen (Amendment) Bill,tabled on June 28,2011,sought to acquire land for constructing homesteads on plots not exceeding 0.0334 acres for agricultural labourers,artisans and fishermen in rural areas and then vesting the plots in favour of the beneficiaries. The Trinamool had opposed the bill saying it was tabled by the Left Front to woo the rural poor in the wake of Singur and Nandigram movements,which led to erosion in the CPMs rural support base. After being tabled,the bill was referred to the President. The President is yet to give her assent.
Since the government is not in favour of any acquisition and since it has an exclusive plan for providing houses to the landless,serious thought is being given to withdraw the bill, a source said.