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Land Acquisition Ordinance re-promulgated

The amendments also include dropping exemption from consent of 80% landowners to “social infrastructure" projects.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 04, 2015, 02.54 AM IST
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The amendments also include dropping exemption from consent of 80% landowners to “social infrastructure" projects. 
The amendments also include dropping exemption from consent of 80% landowners to “social infrastructure" projects. 
NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday gave his assent to the re-promulgated land acquisition ordinance, which includes the nine amendments to the bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha. The Union Cabinet had approved the bill three days ago.

The move to re-promulgate the ordinance came after the bill got stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led ruling coalition is in minority. The ordinance was to lapse on April 5.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs had last week decided to prorogue the first phase of the budget session of Rajya Sabha, paving the way for re-promulgation of the ordinance. The President had prorogued the House on Saturday last week.

Under the Constitution at least one of the Houses has to be prorogued for the government to issue an ordinance. Parliament is currently on a month-long recess after the budget session started on February 23 and will reconvene on April 20.

The land ordinance was among the six executive orders issued by the government during the intersession. While five of them were cleared by Parliament, the one on land is stuck. The land acquisition ordinance is the 11th to be issued by the Narendra Modi government.

The nine amendments to the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act of 2013 included limiting the industrial corridor to one km on both sides of highways and railway lines, and acquisition of bare minimum land for projects. Provisions have also been made for compulsory employment to one member of each family of farm labourers hit by acquisition of land. Hearing and redressal of grievances will be taken up at the district level.

The amendments also include dropping exemption from consent of 80% landowners to “social infrastructure" projects. There were fears that private individuals may use this clause to open colleges and hospitals which would actually be business enterprises.

The amendments were made after widespread protests from the opposition as well as the BJP’s allies in the ruling coalition to bring about an ordinance to the Land Act 2013 in December last year.

The amendments propose to do away with the mandatory social impact assessment and the consent clause for five sectors in a bid to spur infrastructure development and industrialisation.
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