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Land Bill referred to GoM amid opposition by ministers

August 28, 2012 19:32 IST
The Land Acquisition Bill, which was being pushed by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, is set for further delay with the controversial matter being referred to a Group of Ministers because of the opposition by a number of Cabinet ministers.

The proposed legislation, which provides for adequate compensation to farmers for acquisition of their land, was taken up at the meeting of Union Cabinet on Tuesday for the second successive time in a week, sources said.

It was decided that the bill should be referred to a GoM as a number of ministers including Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily and Transport Minister C P Joshi have reservations over its provisions by, sources said.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who was not present at the meeting, has sent a note to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth suggesting that it should be put on hold till concerns are addressed, they said.

UPA constituent Trinamool Congress is also reportedly opposed the bill's provisions but its representative Railway Minister Mukul Roy was not present in Tuesday's meeting. "Lot of ministries have given their suggestions. They were not adequately addressed and hence the matter has been referred to GoM," a source said.

Rechristened as 'The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition', the bill has been hanging fire for long even though the NAC headed by Gandhi has been pushing for the law and even has framed its broad contours.

A minister said some Cabinet colleagues wanted more time to study the significant proposed legislation, which is being brought against the backdrop of some violent agitations by farmers in various parts of the country over a year ago.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had also associated with the cause of farmers during that period.


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