New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Land Acquisition Bill on Monday remained divided over the issue of retrospective acquisitions and the consent required from land owners with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar saying two-three meetings are required to finalise the bill.
During the last meeting too, the same issues had divided the members of the GoM headed by Pawar. "No final view on retrospective clause could happen. We have not taken any final call on the suggestion that consent of two-third people will be required," a source familiar with the development said.
In the meeting on Monday, some Ministers also demanded to retain the original clause of seeking consent of 80 per cent of people (land owners) for acquiring land. The 80 per cent clause was earlier changed to seeking the consent of two-third (66 per cent) of the land owners for making such acquisitions.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Pawar said, "Two or three more meetings are needed for finalising the bill." He said all the issues will be settled and the bill will be finalised in two or three more meetings. "All ministers except Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia were present in the meeting. It (more meetings) will get done before this week," the sources said.
The first meeting of the GoM on the Land Acquisition Bill last month had witnessed a strong demand by some members for retaining a window of retrospective application which was done away with earlier. The meeting had discussed threadbare the contentious clause of prospectivity in the Bill and a question of Rehabilitation and Resettlement package on par with the Land Acquisition bill for the affected parties in mineral-rich forest areas.