The much-awaited Land Acquisition Bill is in the final stages of preparation and is expected to be placed in public domain soon, incorporating suggestions made by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council.
A government source said Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will hold “one more round of discussion” with officials as part of drafting the bill before making it public “early next week.”
The final round of discussion on the bill is likely to be held on Sunday, the source said.
Immediately after taking over as the Rural Development Minister last week, Ramesh decided to redraft the bill prepared by his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh to incorporate recommendations by NAC.
The NAC had favoured 100 per cent land acquisition by the government for land meant for private projects to ensure that farmers are not exploited by middle-men.
The bill prepared by Deshmukh had set aside recommendations of the NAC and stuck to the 70-30 formula on land acquisition that mandates a private company to buy 70 per cent land for its projects.
Some reports say Ramesh has broadly stuck to the recommendations of the NAC that calls for 100 per cent land acquisition by the government. He is also planning to add a provision making consent of 80 per cent of the land owners to the acquisition mandatory.
The Ministry also agreed to the NAC’s another recommendation to integrate in one bill provisions for land acquisition and rehabilitation.
Deshmukh was against the idea and had prepared two separate bills for land acquisition and rehabilitation.
Ramesh, however, has made it clear that he will come up with a separate rehabilitation and resettlement bill for large projects like power and irrigation.
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