Lok Sabha Passes Land Bill With Nine Amendments | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

Lok Sabha Passes Land Bill With Nine Amendments

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Lok Sabha Passes Land Bill With Nine AmendmentsThe government included nine official amendments in the land bill which was later passed in the Lok Sabha on March 10,2015.

The amendments, brought following stiff opposition to the bill, included restricting acquisition of land within one km of both sides of railway tracks and highways, providing employment to at least one member of affected family and creating a bank of barren land.

Rural Development Minister Birender Singh moved the amendments in the Lok Sabha while seeking passage of the bill.

One of the proposed amendment relates to industrial corridors set up by the appropriate government and its undertakings and specifies its extent.

The amendment states that the land shall be acquired “up to one kilometre on both sides of designated railway line or roads for such industrial corridor”.

Another amendment removes “social infrastructure” from the five exempted categories mentioned in the bill.

Changes were also made in the bill to imply that acquisition of land for private hospitals and educational institutions is not included in the definition of public purpose.

One of the amendments relates to the government ensuring that land acquired would be the minimum required for a project before a notification is issued.

The amended bill says that a survey of its wasteland, including arid land, will be undertaken by the appropriate government and it will maintain a record containing details of such land.

An amendment relates to incorporation of provision for compulsory employment to project-affected families.

The government has included words “including compulsory employment to at least one member of such affected family” in section 31 of the Act.

The government has also said that Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Authority to be set up under the Act should hold its hearings in the district where land acquisition takes place for settlement of objections.

The government has also deleted the provision which had provided for prior sanction of the government for a court to take cognizance of an offence committed by a government employee.

The amendment says that original lines in the bill will be replaced with a provision that “the court shall take cognizance of such offence provided the procedure laid down in section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is followed.

“The government had last month introduced in the Lok Sabha The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

All amendments to the bill moved by opposition members were negatived. Many opposition members insisted on division and it took more than an hour for the bill to be passed in Lok Sabha after the minister had given his reply to the debate.

The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha where the government is likely to face a tough task in getting the legislation through as it lacks a majority.

The government is keen on securing passage for the bill in the first half of the budget session as it has to replace a related ordinance brought in the inter-session period.

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