September 6, 2011 2:41:25 am
The government today gave its approval to the draft Land Acquisition Bill,in time to ensure it is tabled in this Parliament session.
After 90 minutes of talks,the Cabinet cleared the Bill in its current form though a few ministers had reservations. An informal group of ministers is likely to be constituted to suggest improvements,which would be placed before the Standing Committee to which the Bill will be referred after being introduced on Wednesday.
The Bill incorporates some changes from the draft put out in the public domain. It no longer bans the acquisition of multi-crop agricultural land. Now,up to 5 per cent of such land in every district can be acquired but only as a demonstrably last resort.
The Bill also does way with the provision of returning acquired land to owners if it remains unused for five years. The land would now be transferred to a state land bank if it remains unused for 10 years. The minimum compensation in rural areas has been revised from six times the market rate to four.
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Rahul Gandhi had reportedly met the Prime Minister for the Bill to be introduced in this session.
The law would ensure that the need for faster growth,faster urbanisation and faster industrialisation is balanced with the need to protect the interest of landowners. Balance is the key, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said.
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