Congress is opposed to land bill based on facts, nothing political, says Jairam Ramesh

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday explained the reasons of his party's opposition to amendment in the land acquisition Act by the NDA government saying it will push the peasants to colonial era and drive the land owners to lose rights over their property.

"We are opposed to the amendments in the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 on five points based on facts and there is nothing political behind this," the former union minister said.

 Congress is opposed to land bill based on facts, nothing political, says Jairam Ramesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. PTI/File image.

Citing the five reasons, Ramesh said, firstly while the original Act has provision of securing the consent of 80 per cent affected people before land acquisition, the new law will abolish the provision. With amendments, the government can acquire private land without the permission of owners.

Secondly, the LAA, 2013 has provision of social impact assessment to be completed within six months and SIA means opinion of Gram Sabha/palli sabha before land acquisition.

However, after the amendments, the SIA will be completely done away with and the government can acquire multi-crop irrigated land. The government can also acquire more land than the actual requirement, he clarified.

Naming the third factor, Ramesh said while the LAA, 2013 has provision of returning land to farmers if the land was not used within five years, there was no such time frame if the act is amended.

The fourth reason, Ramesh said though the LLA, 2013 says that land can be acquired for the industrial corridors, in the 2015 amendments it is stipulated, the land can be acquired one kilometre on both sides of the corridor and the builders and real estate firms will be given land along the corridor.

Ramesh further spoke about the LAA, 2013 which makes provisions of giving compensation at the rate of four times to those land losers who have not received their compensation over the land acquired under 1984 Act.

This provision will be now closed with amendment of the Act and the retrospective clause is now sought to be diluted," Ramesh said explaining as to why his party demanded keeping the LAA, 2013 in totality.


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Updated Date: Apr 06, 2015 16:00:13 IST