Centre to states at NITI Aayog meeting: ‘Can’t keep waiting, bring your land bill’

The meeting was attended by chief ministers of 16 states. Chief ministers of nine Congress-ruled states besides those from West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu skipped the meeting.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Anubhuti Vishnoi & Maneesh Chhibbernew Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2015 7:25 am
NITI Aayog, Pm Modi, Niti meeting, Narendra Modi, Pm Narendra Modi, Congress, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa, NITI Aayog mamata, vland bill, land bill NITI Aayog Indian express, land acquisition bill, Arun Jaitley, Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency, Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, NITI Aayog jayalalithaa, NITI Aayog congress, NITI Aayog modi, modi NITI Aayog, modi news, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with chief ministers during a meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

With chief ministers of most Opposition-ruled states boycotting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest attempt to build consensus over the land acquisition bill ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday that “states cannot indefinitely wait for that consensus” and want to enact their own land laws to push development. He said the Centre will approve laws enacted by “states which want to develop fast”.

Chairing the meeting in New Delhi, Modi told the chief ministers that the Centre and states must join hands to end the “political deadlock” over land acquisition which is seriously impacting development in rural areas including creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects.

Justifying his government’s move to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the Prime Minister said the Centre and states are on the same page on payment of enhanced compensation.

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“Political considerations should not come in the way of a solution that will facilitate development of rural areas, and greater prosperity for farmers,” Modi told the chief ministers.

Emerging from a two-hour meeting of the NITI Aayog’s governing council, Jaitley said an “overwhelming number” of chief ministers said they are keen to bring their own legislations to make it easier to acquire land since they cannot wait indefinitely for amendment to the land bill.

“An important suggestion that came was that the Centre should endeavour to create a consensus but states cannot indefinitely wait for that consensus. If the Centre fails to approve this (bill) with consensus, then it should be left to the states. Those states which want to develop fast can suggest their own state legislations and Centre (will) approve that state legislation,” Jaitley said without naming the chief ministers.

The meeting was attended by chief ministers of 16 states. Chief ministers of nine Congress-ruled states besides those from West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu skipped the meeting. Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal and Tripura’s Manik Sarkar attended the meeting.

Jaitley said some chief ministers who could not come for the meeting due to pre-occupation spoke to Modi which was “understandable”.

“Those who chose to boycott must introspect whether not attending the NITI Aayog meeting is in consonance with the spirit of cooperative federalism. You can always come and express an alternative opinion,” he said.

On convening the meet, Modi said “it was appropriate that suggestions of states be listened to once again” before the Parliament session.

The land bill is currently being scrutinised by a joint committee of Parliament which is slated to give its report later this month. Jaitley said there will be no compromise on the development of the country. “We will keep interest of farmers in mind,” he said and quoted Modi as telling the meeting that all suggestions given by states will be considered.

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  1. r
    Jul 16, 2015 at 8:05 am
    It really is taking time to really throw out the paid media & congress
    1. A
      Albert Shabong
      Jul 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm
      Congress rule states did not take part in the NITI AYOG meeting may be because they do not represent the people of their own state and their own benefits, but they only served the party particularly. so the citizen of India should not surprise, this will happen always. Thaks Mr. A. Shabong Shillong.
      1. B
        Bijan Mohanty
        Jul 16, 2015 at 9:42 am
        Modi mantra has been to do the opposite of what one announces in public and he has adhered to the same in NITI Aiyog meeting. Listen to what he says-- Political Considerations should not come in the way of Development" and look to find what he does -- No development in Delhi while AAP is there. Create maximum hindrance to infrastructure development through LG? Is this co-operative federalism ??
        1. K
          Jul 16, 2015 at 7:35 am
          The Indian Federalism is totally misunderstood by the new occupiers of the Central Government. The new occupiers imagined, if you go by all their declarations before the last Lok Sabha elections, that the Centre "owns" the States. That is not so. The States have all the power. The Centre has far fewer powers. The new occupiers, led by the chaiwallah, never understood this. And if their statements now are of any indication, they still do not understand that the States have all the powers! So, the States do not go to Delhi. Instead Delhi comes to the States. That is how British ran the show. And that is how India's consution expected it to be. But the chaiwallah gang is the new kid on the block with no comprehension.
          1. G
            Jul 16, 2015 at 6:19 am
            In my opinion, it is unfortunate that the Congress-ruled states decided to boycott this meeting. This is not democracy. They should have attended and expressed whatever concerns they have. The country cannot operate with boycotts. The centre in Delhi will not be ruled by the same party as all the states. The states must learn to cooperate for the sake of the country. Let us all grow up and not behave like spoiled children.
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