NewDelhi/Nagpur: The government has reportedly decided to withdraw virtually all the changes it had made to an existing law on how to acquire farm land for industry after it failed completely at being able to push through the centerpiece of its economic reform agenda. It will now be upto individual states to pass their own laws for business-friendly land reforms.
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced major changes to the law that was cleared in 2013 by the previous Congress-led government. Opposition parties and some allies of the PM’s party objected stridently to the new proposal, denouncing it as “anti-farmer”.
In huge defeat, Government will remove
all changes to Land Bill: 10 Developments
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The government has been unable to get support for amendments that exempted projects in five categories from needing the consent of 80 per cent of the affected landowners and the need for a survey to determine the social impact of the project.
Though the bill cleared the Lok Sabha in March, where the government has a huge majority, it was stalled in the Rajya Sabha or Upper House, where it is in a minority.
The government has used a series of back-to-back executive orders or ordinances to introduce new rules, but for the changes to become permanent, Parliament’s consent is required.
But after a prolonged legislative deadlock, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said earlier this month, “Either the Centre must build a coalition and pass the land bill quickly, or give the flexibility to the states to pass their own laws.”