Govt. to promulgate fresh ordinance on Land Bill

The government plans to bring a fresh Ordinance on the amended Land Bill before Parliament convenes on April 20 in the second half of the budget session.

April 02, 2015 02:35 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:30 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Even as the opposition to the Land Acquisition Bill continues in different quarters, the NDA government is determined to bring to Parliament its amended Bill through a fresh Ordinance. The amended NDA Bill to replace the new Ordinance will come to the Lok Sabha first, a Minister said on Wednesday.

The Ordinance, which was promulgated on December 31, ostensibly to bring 13 laws in line with the 2013 Act, will lapse on April 5. Now the government plans to bring a fresh Ordinance on the amended Land Bill before Parliament convenes on April 20 in the second half of the budget session.

“The Cabinet has taken a decision to re-promulgate the Ordinance. It will be a new one on the Bill that includes the nine amendments. The amended Bill will go back to the Lok Sabha for replacing the [new] Ordinance] and then to the Rajya Sabha,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told journalists on Wednesday.

Sources said the government would make all-out efforts to build a consensus on the amended Bill but if it faced roadblocks in the Upper House where the NDA falls short of numbers, it might go in for a joint session of Parliament.

The government has appointed five Ministers to visit States and coordinate efforts “against disinformation” on the Bill, which has been termed “anti-farmer” by the Congress and several farmers’ organisations. The biggest objection is to the removal of provisions relating to consent and social impact assessment.

Among the amendments adopted in the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha were the omission of “social infrastructure” from acquisition of land for infrastructure purposes; a guarantee of employment to at least one member of the affected farm labourer; allowing courts to take cognisance of an erring official, provided the processes under the Criminal Procedure Court were followed, and taking care to acquire the “bare minimum land” for a project.

The government did not accept the Opposition’s amendments on taking the consent of at least 70 per cent of the affected persons before acquiring land for private and public-private partnership projects. It also did not agree to take on board the amendment on carrying out a social impact assessment before acquiring land for various projects and during the rehabilitation of the affected.

Here are the six important facts you need to know about the Land Bill. Source: prsindia.org

1 The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 seeks to Amend the Act of 2013 (LARR Act, 2013).
2 The Bill creates five special categories of land use: 1. defence, 2. rural infrastructure, 3. affordable housing, 4. industrial corridors, and 5. infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land
3 The Bill exempts the five categories from provisions of the LARR Act, 2013 which requires the consent of 80 per cent of land ownersto be obtained for private projects and that of 70 per cent of land owners for PPP projects.
4 The Bill allows exemption for projects in these five categories from requiring Social Impact Assessment be done to identify those affected and from the restrictions on the acquisition of irrigated multi-cropped land imposed by LARR Act 2013.
5 The Bill brings provisions for compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement under other related Acts such as the National Highways Act and the Railways Act in consonance with the LARR Act.
6 The Bill changes acquisition of land for private companies mentioned in LARR Act, 2013 to acquisition for ‘private entities’. A private entity could include companies, corporations and nonprofit organisations.

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