New Delhi: The Land Acquisition Bill, which seeks to strengthen landowners' rights during acquisition for development, will be introduced in Parliament next week, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh indicated on Friday hoping a smooth passage for the controversial measure. "You score the maximum in the slog overs," he told reporters when asked whether the Bill cleared by the Union Cabinet on Thursday, will be brought in Parliament in the
current session which concludes on December 20.
Replying to questions, he said the Bill, making mandatory the consent of 80 per cent of people whose land is taken for private projects, is a "progressive" measure and the government hopes support from all political parties. Insisting that the Bill, which aims to replace the outdated British-era Land Acquisition Act, 1894, is a "balanced" one, Ramesh said all parties had already demanded that the old Act must be changed.
He said that the Bill has ensured a balance between land users and investors and for the first time provided for compensation not only for land owners but also livelihood losers. He said that this is a concurrent legislation and the states will only have to improve upon it. "They cannot distract".
The proposed legislation, has been rechristened as Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquistion, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill.