NDA constituent Shiv Sena, which has reservations over the land bill, on Tuesday joined a meeting of opposition parties to work out a strategy to thwart the proposed changes in the 2013 law which are up for consideration before a Joint Committee of Parliament.
While the Congress on Tuesday submitted its list of amendments to the parliamentary panel seeking withdrawal of changes in the law and asking for uniform compensation, the CPI(M) will submit its recommendations soon.
The parliamentary panel headed by BJP MP S.S. Ahluwalia had on Monday decided to seek time for two more days till August 5, 2015 to submit its report, for which the Congress and some other opposition parties are striving to come up with joint amendments.
The meeting that took place at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday was attended by Anandrao Adsul from the Shiv Sena, members from the Congress including K.V. Thomas, Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee, YSR Congress MP Vara Prasadarao Velagapalli and CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim among others, sources said.
Sources in the Congress said that it had sought restoration of the consent of 80 per cent of landowners to be obtained for private projects and that of 70 per cent under public-private partnership.
The present bill exempts five categories from this provision — defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects, including PPP projects where the government owns the land.
The 2013 Act also required that a social impact assessment be conducted to identify affected families and calculate the impact when land is acquired. This provision has been done away with.
The BJD and the Trinamool have already written to the panel about their amendments seeking total withdrawal of the NDA’s bill.
The strategy of the Congress is to somehow get a majority of members in the panel to oppose the main amendments being brought by the government in the UPA’s land law.
In the meeting at Mr. Pawar’s residence, the Congress, the Trinamool and the CPI(M) said that they are for “total withdrawal” of the NDA’s land bill.
The Sena is not seeking total withdrawal of the NDA bill but has its reservations against the amendments, which removed provisions of consent clause and social impact survey from the bill that existed in the 2013 law.
Tuesday’s meeting at Mr. Pawar’s residence was aimed at exploring the possibility to work out a joint amendment, the sources said.
After clause-by-clause consideration of the bill by the committee, the government is likely to move a draft bill before the panel on July 30. The members will discuss the draft and file their dissent notes, if any, by August 5.
While the Trinamool wants a total withdrawal of the amendments brought by the government, the BJD wants land losers as stakeholders when it is acquired for profitable ventures.
The party wants that landowners should be given a share in profit if the land is acquired for setting up industry and other commercial ventures, sources said.
In the amendments, the BJD has pitched for bringing back the consent and social impact assessment provisions into the bill.
The Congress had in the past also written to the panel that the compensation in the law which is four times the market value in urban areas and between two to four times in rural areas should be made uniform four times in all areas, a demand which the government may find difficult to accept.
Land bill: Six facts you need to know
Here are the six important facts you need to know about the the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, popularly known as 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.|