The Land Acquisition ordinance of the NDA government was allowed to lapse on Friday with the government issuing executive orders to extend the provisions of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement as mentioned in the 2013 version of the Act to 13 Central Acts like the National Highways Act and the Railways Act.
The order was issued by the government under the “removal of difficulties” clause (section 113) of the The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 >(LARR) . This will allow the government the alternative of not promulgating the land ordinance for the fourth time, allowing land acquisition under 13 Acts not mentioned in the UPA version of the Land Act and also give a free hand to State governments to acquire land under their own laws.
A parliamentary committee is still examining the NDA version of the Bill and had asked for time till the Winter Session of Parliament to do the same. In an interview to The Hindu , >Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that it was on the advice of Chief Ministers that the decision not to re-promulgate the land ordinance was taken, after stiff resistance from the opposition Congress and some members of the Sangh Parivar.
With Bihar polls round the corner, the ruling BJP was also not comfortable with the political messaging of the Ordinance, painted as anti-farmer by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Government sources said that “this was the only honourable way out after the ordinance had been blocked politically.”