Land bill passed in Lok Sabha

Nine amendments have been adopted.

March 10, 2015 02:47 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:14 pm IST

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, popularly known as the land bill, was adopted by the Lok Sabha after debating it for two days.

Congress and Biju Janata Dal walked out ahead of the voting, to protest the removal of a clause that makes it mandatory to get farmers' consent prior to the acquisition of land by the government.

Government made nine amendments to bill, all of them were adopted. Lok Janshakti Party extended support to the Bill.

While the government accepted Opposition's proposal of compulsory employment to at least one member of an affected family of a 'farm labourer', amendments to consent clause and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) were rejected.

Key developments in reverse chronological order

The House has been adjourned. It will meet at 11 am tomorrow.

Land acquisition bill has been passed in Lok Sabha through voice vote. Nine amendments have been adopted.

Congress walks out.

Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh moves the land acquisition and rehabilitation amendment bill.

N.K Premachandran moves another amendment. It is rejected.

P. Karunakaran (CPI-M) moves Amendment 28. Ayes:89 ; Noes: 308. Motion is rejected.

Deependra Hooda seeks two per cent reservation on government jobs for farmers, who have lost the job. The motion is rejected.

Mr. Singh moves suspension of rules. The motion is adopted.

Mr. Singh moves Amendment no. 57. Amendment is adopted.

Mr. Hooda presses for voting and division. Ayes: 101; Noes: 311

Rural Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh clarifies. Land for multi-crop cultivation will not be acquired.

Mr. Hooda moves Amendment 48.

Mr. Subbareddy moves Amendment 47. Ayes:101; Noes: 311. Amendment is rejected.

K.C. Venugopal moves Amendment 43. Ayes: 98; Noes: 315. Amendment is rejected.

BJD walks out protesting the removal of consent clause.

Mr. Mahtab speaks on the amendment sought by him. While we welcome certain steps taken by the government, more needs to done, says the Cuttack MP. Adding the consent clause was an unanimous decision in all-party meet held in 2013.

Mr. Premachandran moves another amendment. Ayes: 90; Noes 313. Amendment no 16 is negative.

Deve Gowda moves amendment No. 11. Amendment defeated.

Amendment No 10 rejected after Ayes is 310.

Saugata Roy does not move amendment No. 5.

Speaker allows division. Ayes: 101; Noes: 304. Amendment is negative.

Saugata Roy moves amendment No. 4. Mr. Roy seeks division. More opposition MPs seek division of votes.

Amendments moved by Union Minister Mr. Singh adopted by voice vote.

Ayes: 96; Noes: 298. Amendment negative

Amendment 9 moved by Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav rejected by voice vote. Division begins.

Clause 3 as amended be part of the bill? Ayes have it. Amendment adopted.

Deependra Singh Hooda moves Amendment No 45. Divison: Ayes: 98. Noes: 299. Motion defeated.

Amendment 35 moved by Mr. Mahtab. BJD is happy with Govt. accepting it. So, he is not moving it.

Division: Ayes: 88; Noes 295. Motion is defeated.

Amendment 18 in Clause 3 moved by Mr. Premachandran rejected in voice vote.

Ayes 94; Noes 299. Amendment is rejected.

Division begins.

Amendment is negative after noes have it, says Ms. Mahajan.

Saugata Roy moves Amendment No. 3 relating to the consent clause. "For the first time farmers' consent was necessited. The amendment removes this clause. How can you take away land without a farmer's conset?" BJP protests.

Amendment No. 52 moved by Rural Minister adopted after voice vote.

Clause 2 stands part of Bill after voice vote.

Voice vote on Amendment No. 7 moved by Jayaprakash Yadav. Rejected.

Ayes 99; Noes: 299 - Statutory motion rejected.

Voting begins on statutory motion moved by Mr. Jayadevan.

Voting on land bill to begin. Parliament personnel explains the procedure to vote.

Motion moved by Mr. Jayadevan defeated in voice vote.

Thrissur CPI MP C.N. Jayadevan wants land reforms bill constraining landlords to own maximum 15 ha. of land. These lands must be distributed to the landless and poor agricultural workers. I was hearing the voice of his masters' [corporates'] voice as Mr. Singh spoke.

Government brings nine amendments in the bill.

If you find there is scope for bettering the bill, we are ready to consider your proposal. There should not be the broad attitude of blanket "support or opposition", says Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh , concluding his speech.

Under Section 101, "five-year" clause for completion of project on acquired land will be augmented and amended by "length of the project".

Under Section 33, "compulsory employment" clause shall be inserted, says Mr. Singh.

"No acquisition will be transferred to private persons. All will be in government's good hands," says Rural Development Minister.

"We started out with 8 amendments to the 2013 law. 'You have not defined industrial corridors,' we were told. This has been rectified," says Mr. Singh.

"Infrastructure does not mean only private components. Infrastructure means irrigation, roads, other agricultural benefits."

In the 14 months since the passing of the Act, very few States have formed any rules regarding acquisition, he says.

"How long will you scare farmers that all their land will be stolen with a land acquisition law? How long will you stifle the farmers' progress?" Mr. Singh asks Opposition.

"A strong contingent of bureaucrats from Haryana have held that the consent clause and SIA prevents acquisition of a single ounce of land," says Mr. Singh, decrying the statement of Deepender Singh Hooda. Consent requirement should be done away with, the Haryana babus had said, he points out.

Mr. Singh says, "My grandfather was a champion of farmers' rights. And This Birender Singh [referring to himself] cannot go against farmers' interests."

Answering on accusations of delay in the ordinance, Mr. Singh says the Act became operational from Jan. 2014. And it was then observed that there was need for various amendments.

Continuing with his reply, Mr. Birender Singh outlines the difficulty of land acquisition amid lack of proper land titles.

Pandemonium from Opposition sections.

Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh takes the floor for his reply , stresses the importance of upper as well as lower ceiling on land holding. This government is blowing new life into the land acquisition law, he says. Uproar ensues.

If we want to match China in terms of progress, we have to lay roads, bulld railways and implement infrastructure projects. The bill ensures at least one job for each family affected by land acquisition, says BJP Khandwa MP Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan , in conclusion.

There is no question of destruction of farmers' interests in this bill. No land is being taken for commercial purposes, says Mr. Chouhan.

Most of the land taken over has contributed to rendering land irrigable, providing electricity and agricultural infrastructure, says Mr. Chouhan.

BJP Khandwa MP Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan says 30 lakh ha. of agricultural land willingly given by Madhya Pradesh farmers have been now become irrigable. Earlier, MP had 7.5 lakh ha. of irrigable land, he says.

The farmers are owed the world for sacrificing their lands for the nation's progress, concludes Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda .

Those farmers who have contributed to the nation's infrastructural development over these years should be given at least 2 percent reservation for government jobs, says Mr. Hooda.

Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda, says the party will not accept any amendment in the bill. The budget is cutting corporate taxes, proposes PPP in railways, scrapping wealth tax and now this amendment... The government is in favour of corporates, he says. BJP MPs oppose.

In the Chair is Speaker Sumitra Mahajan

Joice George, an independent MP from Idukki, opposing the bill says "grabbing" land from farmers takes away their right to livelihood. The amendment takes away the soul of the 2013 Act.

Ratan Lal Kataria, BJP's MP from Ambala (Haryana) supporting the bill, takes a dig at Congress saying Nandigram and farmers sucide happened during UPA.

Raju Shetti, MP from Hatkanangle, Maharashtra, demands white paper on land acquired from farmers. He recalls Vinobha Bhave's Bhoodaan movement, where farmers voluntarily gave away their land in support of the movement. Farmers are ready to give land, but not for those who come with greed, he says. Of the land acquired for SEZ purpose, many are lying vacant. He says he opposes the bill.

Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank of BJP , speaking in favour of the amendment, says the bill is not anti-farmers. The bill protects the rights of farmers.

No additional benefit is being provided to farmers in this amendment, Mr. Premachandran says.

"This is amendment rolls back all positive features of 2013 legislation," he says adding, the amendment will make way for acquiring excess land.

Show a single provision in the current land bill that provides additional benefits to farmer, RSP Kollam MP N.K. Premachandran asks previous speaker.

BJP Pali MP P.P. Chaudhary says all the needs of the farmer (roads for connectivity, electricity, irrigation channels) will be met with land acquisition. Mr. Chaudhary says the compensation at market value has been untouched.

In the chair is Dr. M. Thambidurai, Deputy Speaker

In conclusion, AIMIM Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi asks the BJP govt. to follow Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya's ideals and principles.

For instance, says Mr. Owaisi, 161 Ha. of land acquired in Maharashtra but no housing has come up as promised.

Mr. Owaisi asks "Why is land only acquired for industrial corridors? Why not for preservation of environment or public purpose?"

AIMIM Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi says the bill contains vague assertions of need for development. How can India justify taking land from tribals, adivasis, farmers and give it over to private purposes? asks Mr. Owaisi. Govt. should go in for private purchase in order to acquire land for development.

In conclusion, YSRCP Rajampet (AP) MP Midhun Reddy wants single Central Land Acquisition Act.

Mr. Reddy wants uniform land acquisition procedure. Lot of ambiguity in current procedure as farmers with varying land values are being given same compensation.

YSRCP Rajampet (AP) MP Midhun Reddy wants proper SIA clause to be retained in the bill. Not just farmers, labourers too will be affected by current land take-over measures, he says.

The Members of Parliament opposed to the land bill should read the law fully. It assures avenues of development and ensures satisfactory deal for farmers, concludes BJP Kota MP Om Birla .

Each and every branch of this law seeks to take land for spreading and reaching out infrastructural benefits — roads, water canals, housing — to the rural areas, says Mr. Birla.

BJP Kota MP Om Birla takes the floor, says every tribunal and government since 2013 has been bringing laws that run counter to farmers' interests. The Modi government's policy is for farmers' development, he asserts.

The Centre has come strikingly under corporate pressure, concludes JD(U) MP Santosh Kumar , seeking that the bill be taken back to the standing committee.

Earlier, the farmer could be handed the land back if no activity takes place on the land for five years after take over, says Mr. Kumar. This time frame is no longer present, he says.

The bill snatches away the farmer's right to compensation security, says Mr. Kumar.

JD(U) MP Santosh Kumar takes the floor, says there are a few flaws in the land bill as it stands. He recalls PM's promise that the bill will be changed if even a single inequity is found in it.

With willingness and consent of farmers, TDP government has completed 90 percent of land pulling in Andhra Pradesh, concludes TDP's Kakinada MP Thota Narasimham .

I welcome the amendments made to this bill with farmers' interests in mind, says Mr. Narasimham.

Land should be used as a source of job creation, says Mr. Narasimham. Minimum threshold needed to be fixed for Social Impact Assessment, he says.

Government has to keep in mind that land in India has an emotional component, says Mr. Narasimham. Take over of land, leading to change in livelihood, lifestyle, interests, finances is prone to be traumatic for the farmer, he says.

In India, lack of records of land holdings makes for disputes and confusion over purchase, says says TDP Kakinada MP Thota Narasimham .

In the chair is BJD's Arjun Charan Sethi

Uproar ensues over BJP's Ratlam MP Dileep Singh Bhuria's assertion that Modi government is farmer-friendly by nature.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Raj Mahal MP Vijay Kumar Hansdak takes the floor, says the soul of the nation resides among the villagers and rural farmers. It is necessary to take this discussion to the standing committee level for deeper analysis, he says.

I congratulate the government on the amendments it has brought about till now, concludes Apna Dal Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel .

It is not enough to simply recompensate farmers or land-owners. It is essential to educate the farmer about intelligent investment policies and give him shareholding capacities, says Ms. Patel.

Anupriya Patel, Apna Dal, Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh) takes the floor, says the government must avoid taking over land in excess and maintain proper records.

We need a review of social impact assessment to accommodate both farmers and land-owners, concludes Dushyant Chautala.

"Do not harrass the farmer to the extent that he is forced to stand up for his rights; such actions will break the backbone of the country," Mr. Chautala argues.

"Property developers are converting fertile lands to buildings," says Mr. Chautala.

Land owners must be rehabilitated, given employment, says Mr. Chautala, INLD MP representing Hissar.

Dushyant Chautala participates in the debate. "This land, which houses the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament, was once acquired from farmers who were living in Raisina Hills."

Chirag Paswan of Lok Jan Shakti Party speaks in favour of the bill.

Shiv Sena and Akali Dal agree to support land bill, according to TV reports.

"Will you be able to acquire land from a golf course in Delhi?" Mr. Trivedi asks.

Mr. Trivedi recalls the story of Pandavas asking their part of land to Kauravas, in Mahabharata, which was followed by the Kurukshetra war. Mr. Trivedi warns farmers will also wage a war.

The BJP is going totally against its manifesto, says Mr. Trivedi.

Mr. Trivedi reads out BJP's manifesto, which stated the party will bring farm policy. "The BJP will not allow the conversion of fertile farm lands for industry or SEZ," the manifesto of BJP mentions, says Mr. Trivedi.

This is not the way you come up with ordinance after ordinance, he says quoting President Pranab Mukherjee.

"The very basis of democracy is being subverted," Mr. Trivedi, the MP from Barrackpur, says.

"I thank the BJP for bringing this bill, because the bill has united the entire opposition," says Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi. He also says he and his party opposes the bill.

I am going to oppose the bill, says Mr. Gowda.

"Poor people cannot be allowed to suffer," Mr. Gowda says.

The legislation must ensure that farmers are not ruined, says Mr. Gowda.

Continuing to share his experience as Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. Gowda says how land was acquired for various infrastructure projects. He also warns that bureaucrats could misuse their power.

Despite the government declaring on Monday that is was willing to climb down from its position and amend the Land Acquisition Bill, the Opposition parties led by the Congress remained aggressive and combative in opposing the Bill.

The Opposition parties dubbed the Bill as draconian and anti-poor as Rural Development Minister Birender Singh moved the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015 for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha.

Mr. Gowda, who was a former Chief Minister of Karnataka, narrates his experience on acquiring land for Bengaluru IT park and other development projects. "There was no dispute in providing land," Mr. Gowda says.

"No farmer will oppose a project if they are provided reasonable and fair compensation," says Mr. Gowda.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) MP from Hassan Deve Gowda speaks.

Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai is in chair.

For the second day on Tuesday, Lok Sabha is debating on land acquisition amendment Act.

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