Land Bill clears Lok Sabha, braces for tough test in Rajya Sabha

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015,21:02 IST By metro vaartha A A A

New Delhi | The contentious Land bill today passed the Lok Sabha test after the government carried out nine amendments to it and persuaded most of its allies to support, setting the stage for its consideration in Rajya Sabha where the numbers are loaded against the government.
Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD and BJD walked out of the House while NDA ally Shiv Sena abstained as the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015 was passed by voice vote.
Another NDA ally Swabhimani Paksha moved an amendment which was negated.
In an attempt to placate the opposition and some unhappy allies, government brought nine official amendments and added two clauses to the controversial legislation.
Notwithstanding its majority in the Lok Sabha, government reached out to its allies, making last minute calls to their leaders to persuade them not to break ranks.
Opposition had moved 52 amendments, which were either negated or were not pressed for by the members. An amendment was moved by
The bill is now set for the real test in Rajya Sabha where the NDA is in a minority and opposition is united in opposing it or sending it to a Parliamentary Committee.
Even while moving the bill for consideration, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said the government has already incorporated several suggestions, many of them offered by the opposition, and was willing to accept any more suggestions of the opposition if those were in the interest of farmers.
The bill is now set to face a major hurdle in Rajya Sabha where NDA is in a minority and some allies are also not on board.
The official amendments moved included limiting the industrial corridor to one kilometre on both the sides of the highways and railway lines, compulsory employment to one member of the affected family of farm labourers, hearing and redressal of grievances at the district level and acquisition of bare minimum of land for projects.
The amendments also include dropping of exemption to social infrastructure projects as there were fears that private individuals may use this clause to open colleges and hospitals which are actually business models.
During his reply, Birender Singh took pot shots at Congress, saying it threw crumbs at farmers all these years to ensure that they survive but do not prosper.
His attacks on Congress, particularly Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepender Hooda, led to frequent verbal clashes, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to intervene.
Several senior Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and M Venkaiah Naidu, were seen asking the Rural Development Minister to address the Chair.
Singh assured the Chair that he will not look anywhere else but the Chair.
Rajnath Singh on one occasion also told the Rural Development Minister to speak in Hindi to cater to the greater audience.
Our government has done away with this and the new law will ensure that farmers prosper and their children have access to best of education and other facilities, Birender Singh said in his reply to the debate over contentious.

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