Rejects Sonia-led NAC's proposal on the issue

Even as the National Advisory Council accepted the suggestion of some of its members for a composite legislation on land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement, Union Minister of Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh on Wednesday spiked their suggestion and stuck to his decision to frame two separate laws during the monsoon session of Parliament.

Talking to journalists, Mr. Deshmukh underscored the difficulties in integrating the two laws, stressing that linking them at the current juncture would not be proper.

The NAC meting, chaired by Sonia Gandhi, accepted the suggestion for integrating the two Bills and decided to forward the same to the Rural Development Ministry though Mr. Deshmukh had shot down the proposal.

Rehabilitation and resettlement issues were not just limited to land acquisition and displacement but also a gamut of situations at the national level. The rehabilitation and resettlement provisions were aimed at providing relief to people affected by calamities such as earthquake, floods, and cyclones and other hardships that might befall the population.

Mr. Deshmukh, however, said clubbing rehabilitation and resettlement provisions with the land acquisition law could be considered in the future.

Draft to be finalised

Maintaining that the consultation process on the two Bills ended with Wednesday's NAC meeting, Mr. Deshmukh said his Ministry would consider its proposals and finalise the draft and send it to the Law Ministry next week.