Cong will continue to oppose land Bill: Ramesh

Cong will continue to oppose land Bill: Ramesh

The Congress will continue its tirade against the land Bill as it is "anti-farmer and dilutes the pro-farmer provisions of Land Acquisition Act-2013" which was passed with the consent of all parties, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said today.

Ramesh also dubbed as "totally rubbish" the claim of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that under the 2013 Act, it will not be possible to acquire land for hospitals, schools and roads among others and clarified that there was no bar on acquiring land for government, including defence projects.

"We are against the amendments made in the 2013 Land Act by the Modi government through Ordinance without calling an all-party meeting, despite the fact that it was passed with the consent of all parties," he told reporters here.

"In the current scenario, it is impossible for this Bill to get passed in the Rajya Sabha as the SP, BSP, JD-U, TMC, DMK and even NDA allies like Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are opposed to it," the senior Congress leader said.

The Congress is opposing these amendments on five grounds, he said.

Elaborating further, he said the Bill dilutes the consent clause of securing consent of 80 per cent farmers for acquiring land for private companies and 70 per cent for projects to be implemented on PPP (Public, Private Partnership) mode.

The present Bill dilutes provisions of Social Impact Assessment for private projects to check the practice of acquiring land for a government project and handing over to private players after sometime, he said.

There was a provision in the 2013 Act that if the acquired land is not used within five years, then it will be handed back to its owner, but this clause was also removed in the 2014 Land Bill, he said.

The provision of acquiring one-km stretch of land on either side of the major road is being done with an intention to help private companies, and Congress is opposed to it as it is impractical, Ramesh said.

The Congress is opposing removal of the provision for providing four times compensation from back date to those land owners who were not satisfied with the award they got at the time of acquisition, he said.

Ramesh said that the Congress demands implementation of 2013 Land Act in toto and will not allow any dilution of it.

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