Govt has taken 'middle path' on Land Acquisition Bill: Ramesh

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 18, 2013 15:50 hrs

New Delhi: Government has "navigated a middle path" on the Land Acquisition Bill to ensure fair compensation to the land losers and industry should not have any cause for complaint, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said here today.

The Minister said there is "a huge difference" in the original bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 5, 2011, and the present form of the bill that is going to be discussed in Parliament.

"A large part of compromise, in fact I made is in recognition of fact that we have to be sensitive to the investors' sentiment. Therefore, industry should not have any cause for complaint," the Minister said after an all party meeting held here to end impasse over the UPA's ambitious measure.

Ramesh, who is instrumental in pushing the legislation to replace the 119-year-old Land Acquisition Act, said that "the political consensus today was for making the bill even tighter, making compensation even much more."

"But I think, we have navigated a middle path between giving fair and equitable compensation to the land losers and to the livelihood losers and also ensuring that some land has got acquired," he told reporters.

"This bill has come under attack from activists like Medha Patkar and others and it also came under attack from industry associations like CII and FICCI," the Minister said.

When both these groups are attacking the bill, there must be something right in the bill, he quipped.

Ramesh said that the original bill was "an eight per cent GDP growth" bill while the new bill recognises that "you need to be sensitive to investors' sentiment."

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