Says all parties want it passed soon and have pledged their total support

Dismissing the ordinance route, Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh remains confident of getting support from all parties for the enactment of the crucial Land Acquisition Bill pending before Parliament.

With the Union Cabinet likely to consider a proposal to promulgate an ordinance for the Food Security Bill, Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu that “the land bill is different from the food bill. I am not in favour of an ordinance for the land bill.”

“All political parties want the bill passed at the earliest and have pledged their total support,” reiterated Mr. Ramesh. He preferred a debate during the monsoon session or a special session of Parliament.

Mr. Ramesh pointed out that the land bill had gone through “unprecedented all-party efforts,” and two “crucial amendments” suggested by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had been incorporated.

In April, a broad consensus was arrived at among the parties during the recess period of the budget session of Parliament after the government gave in to a key demand of the BJP for 50 per cent compensation to original farmers whose land was purchased after the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha on September 5, 2011.

Parliament could not take up the bill because of chaos and disruptions over allegations of scams and wrongdoings against the government, particularly two of its Ministers.

“I have accepted four amendments suggested by [CPI-M leader] Basudeb Acharia. Nine political parties have given comments in writing to which detailed written responses have been given. I have personally met all political parties and gone over the bill with them,” Mr. Ramesh said.

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