A bill facilitating relaxation of urban land ceiling laws in setting up industry in West Bengal was today passed in the state assembly by 252-46 votes despite Opposition by Left Front members.
In the absence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,who is also in-charge of the Land and Land Reforms department,in the House,the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2012 was introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee for discussion.
Immediately after it was moved in the Assembly,Leader of Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra said such an important bill required a detailed discussion before passage in a hurry and demanded that it be referred to a select committee of the House.
It would be unwise to pass such an important bill after a 90-minute discussion,he said.
Mishra said that the Bill was moved earlier in 2006 when it was sent to a Select Committee and was subsequently withdrawn.
In his reply,the minister said that the LF Bill of 2006 and the Bill they moved now were different in context and intention.
The government was against forcible acquisition of land and was committed to protect the farmers as well as to brighten the prospect of industrialisation in the state,he said.
Describing the bill as “sensitive”,Chatterjee said that the government was not against industry and that enough land was available for setting up of industry.
Chatterjee alleged that the erstwhile state government went for forcible acquisition of land starting from Singur to Nandigram putting farmers at party cadres’ gun point.
The passing of the bill would facilitate relaxation of urban land ceiling laws in some cases for setting up industry.
The state government would also be able to take back land allotted to a person for setting up any unit,if the land remained unutilised for three years.