The NDA government on Saturday moved a step further in taking the ordinance route for bringing crucial changes to the Land Acquisition Act enacted during the UPA rule, with Rural Development Ministry sending the draft ordinance to the Law Ministry for its vetting.
According to sources, the draft of the proposed ordinance was forwarded to the Law Ministry following Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh’s detailed meeting with ministry officials on Saturday.
Various aspects of the proposed changes to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, were discussed during the meeting, sources said.The Indian Express had reported on Saturday that the Rural Development Ministry has been directed to get the draft ordinance vetted by the Law Ministry so that the Cabinet clears it this week.
The government is in a hurry to bring in an ordinance because of Section 105 of the Act, which provides for excluding 13 central legislations — including Land Acquisition (Mines) Act 1885, Atomic Energy Act, 1962, Railway Act 1989, National Highways Act 1956 and Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978 — from its purview. According to officials, unless an ordinance is issued before January 1, 2015, these 13 legislations will also come under the purview of the Act.
Some of the clauses the government plans to amend relate to consent, social impact assessment and rehabilitation and resettlement.
Meanwhile, former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, during whose tenure the law was enacted, termed this as “yet another nail on the coffin of parliamentary democracy”. He said BJP had been consulted on all clauses of the Bill before it was passed.