With concerns that the UPA’s land acquisition law may lead to procedural delay persisting, the NDA government has decided to formally “review” the implementation-related issues of the law in consultation with the state governments.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who holds addition charge of the Rural Development Ministry, has called a meeting with revenue ministers of all states on June 27 to thrash out issues related to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.
In a letter to the state revenue ministers, Gadkari said the meeting will “review the steps being taken by the state governments regarding the formulation of rules and the steps taken for implementation” of the Act. The “review” is significant as it comes less than six months after the Act came into force —in January this year.
Gadkari had earlier claimed that state governments have voiced “reservations” over the adverse impacts of the Act against promoting industry and infrastructure in their states.
Though Gadkari in his letter has made it clear that his aim was to “promote the interests of farmers and those who lose their lands and livelihood” because of land acquisition, the meeting to review the implementation-related procedures suggests the Centre’s willingness to take a relook at the mechanism to ease the acquisition process for farmers as well as the industry and infrastructure development.
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Sources said the meeting with state revenue ministers, who look after acquisition-related proceedings in the states, will examine contradictory provisions in the Act. It will also review the prevalance of state’s land acquisition provisions in the backdrop of new land acquisition law.
“Obviously, if state government representatives raise reservations about the procedural difficulty of the new law, the government will have to look into them,” said a source briefed about the objectives on the meeting.
Agriculture minister seeks state’s feedback of farm insurance schemes
With an eye to roll out BJP’s election manifesto promise to revamp farm insurance scheme for farmers, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has written to chief ministers seeking their feeedback on the implementation of existing insurance schemes and the ways to improve them. “I will also organise a meeting of agriculture ministers of states to bring a consensus around deficiencies in the existing models and then chart out strategy to imrovise upon them to come out a better pro-farmer insurance scheme,” Singh said. The ministry currently supports two different insurance schemes — National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme — where the latter is implemented in only selected districts across the country. ENS