Amid noisy scenes on the ongoing audiogate scandal, the government on Wednesday tabled eight Bills, all of which were passed without any debate or discussion.
Among the bills passed was the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2019. The government has introduced amendments to facilitate easy acquisition of land required for several of its mega infrastructure projects, which have been stuck.
The government has introduced amendments to the Land Acquisition Act enforced by the Centre in 2013 to protect the interest of farmers.
Through the amendments, the government has ensured that land can now acquired at the price fixed by the government, a model followed in states like like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The Revenue department has reasoned that projects, including construction of highways, railway line and drinking water projects, were witnessing high-cost escalation owing to non-availability of land.
The Assembly also passed the much-delayed Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) (Amendment) Bill, 2018, relaxing rules for transfer of teachers.
Teachers can now seek transfers to places where their spouses (government employees) are working. The new rules will also grant exemption from compulsory transfer in cases of teacher or spouse or child suffering from severe illness and reduce the duration of service for transfer from 5 years to 3 years.
The Assembly also passed Bills to grant deemed university status to the National Institute of Engineering (NIE), Mysuru, Adichunchanagiri educational institutions and R V College of engineering.
Debt relief for farmers
Another Bill passed was the Karnataka Debt Relief Bill, 2018, which proposed to ease the financial burden on small farmers and those from economically weaker sections who depend on moneylenders.
Loans taken from non-institutional sources, excluding non-banking finance corporations (NBFCs), stand null and void. The financial institutions are also required to return pledged items such as gold and land documents. The government took this decision following widespread farmer suicides reported between 2016 to 2018.