Paswan implores Oppn to support Land Bill

Paswan implores Oppn to support Land Bill

Union Food and Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today implored the Opposition to ensure passage of the Land Acquisition Bill in national interest.

"I implore upon opposition parties to help in the passage of the Land Acquisition Bill in national interest as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already clarified to objects raised by different parties," he told reporters.

Having its valuable suggestions incorporated and objections addressed in the draft of the Land Acquisition Bill with regard to concerns of farmers, it was high time the opposition parties rallied around the government and get the bill passed during the Budget Session, Paswan, whose party LJP is part of the NDA government at the Centre, said.

Stating that his party backed the Bill to the hilt, the Union Minister said it has addressed farmers' concern to clear decks for acquisition of land for industrial development.
He said it was high time that the proposed legislation comes into being so that infrastructure development got a push.

Referring to paddy procurement in Bihar, the Union Food and Consumers Affairs Minister expressed disappointment at slow pace of paddy procurement at 9.37 lakh metric tonne by February 26 and said the deadline in this regard has been extended by a month till March 31.

On the requirement of foodgrain for delivery of ration under PDS, he said the required amount for January has been lifted by procuring agencies, while the amount for February will be completed by tomorrow.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has sufficient stockpile of foodgrains to meet Bihar's requirement for March this year, the Union Minister said.

Paswan also ticked off the state government for its failure to provide ration cards to all beneficiaries under the Food Security Act and asked it to urgently bring under the PDS coverage about 1.1 crore people who have not been issued ration cards as yet.

Bihar has 8.71 crore eligible beneficiaries for coverage under the Food Security Act against which 7.61 crore people have been issued ration cards, he noted.

The Union Food Minister further said that sugarcane farmers' arrears lying with mill owners has come down to Rs 3,000 crore against Rs 53,000 crore even as the sugar mills have been given incentives by his ministry in terms of imposition of 25 per cent import duty on sugar against existing rate of 15 per cent though the sugar mill owners had demanded that it be raised at 40 per cent.

Similarly, the export incentive on sugar has been raised to Rs 4,000 per tonne against existing rate of Rs 1,000 per tonne, Paswan said, adding that in a boost to sugarcane farmers, the blending of ethenol made of sugarcane molasses in energy production, petrol and liquor has been increased between five and ten per cent.

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