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President gives nod to re-promulgation of land ordinance

President gives nod to re-promulgation of land ordinance

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has given nod to re-promulgation of the controversial land ordinance, which could not be converted into law during the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament, for the third time.

The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had on Saturday decided to re-promulgate the ordinance, saying it was necessary for maintaining continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land is acquired.

The ordinance has been promulgated for the third time and it is the 13th executive order of the NDA government since it came to power in May last year.

The measure was promulgated for the first time in December last year to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The ordinance was replaced by a Bill.

While Lok Sabha passed it with 10 official amendments, the government has not taken it to Rajya Sabha.

The ordinance was re-promulgated in March this year and lapses on June 3. To re-promulgate the ordinance, the government had prorogued Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session.

An amended Land Acquisition Bill is under consideration of a Joint Committee of Parliament.

The fresh ordinance is a copy of the Bill pending before the committee and has no new provisions or changes, the sources said.

The first meeting on Saturday of the Joint Committee of Parliament on the contentious Land Bill saw a number of opposition members questioning the rationale of the government behind changing the provisions of the 2013 law.

While the 2013 law required that the consent of 80 per cent of land owners be obtained for private projects and of 70 per cent for public private partnership projects, the present Bill exempts five categories from this provision of the Act — defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure, including PPP projects, where the government owns the land.

The 2013 Act also required that a social impact assessment be conducted to identify affected families and calculate the social impact of land acquisition. That provision has been done away with.

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