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'New land acquisition bill investor-friendly'

September 24, 2012 18:40 IST

Ahead of a meeting of Group of Ministers, the rural development ministry sought to allay apprehensions of industries and infrastructure sectors over the controversial land acquisition bill, contending that the amendments in the legislation are investor-friendly.

In a note circulated to the members of the GoM headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, the ministry highlighted that the requirement of consent of all for acquiring land has been diluted and a new provision will apply prospectively and not retrospectively.

The ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh has said that amendments have been made to a contentious clause which had said that consent of all project affected families -- both land losers and livelihood losers -- are required to acquire the land for projects.

According to the amended version, "consent shall be required from two-thirds of land losers only" and it is not required from the livelihood losers who did not own the land.

However, compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement package will be given to both the affected parties.

Considering the protest from the industries and other infrastructure ministries, the rural development ministry has said it has made changes in another controversial clause which had said that the bill would apply retrospectively.

According to this clause, the bill would be applicable to all cases of land acquisition before the date of commencement of the act if the award under the 1894 Act has not been made.

Highlighting changes made in this clause, the ministry has said, "Bill shall apply prospectively only, i.e., for new acquisition only, and not retrospectively".

The 14-member GoM is due to meet on September 27 to examine the bill.

The GoM was constituted after a number of ministers including Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Transport Minister CP Joshi had voiced reservations over certain provisions in the bill.

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament in September last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which submitted its recommendations in May.

Click here to read FAQ on the Land Acquisition Bill

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