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Welcome Second Thoughts

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Prime Minister rendra Modi’s announcement on Sunday that the government will not re-promulgate the controversial Ordince on Land Acquisition (which was due to expire on Monday) will be received with a sense of relief by most people. He also declared his readiness to incorporate any suggestion in the Bill which was pending in the Rajya Sabha to benefit farmers. He said a lot of doubts had been created over the Land Bill and fear instilled among farmers even though States had suggested amendments to the Act of 2013 for the benefit of villagers. Speaking in his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat, the Prime Minister said, “We had promulgated an Ordince on Land Acquisition Bill which will expire tomorrow. I have decided that it should be allowed to expire. It means restoration of the situation that prevailed before my government took over.” It will be recalled that the government had issued the Ordince three times so far, since the Land Bill could not be passed in Parliament due to stiff resistance from most of the Opposition parties as well as some of the ruling NDA allies. There are reasons to take the speculation that the government will try to use the legislative route rather than force things with an Ordince with a large pinch of salt because the very decision not to re-promulgate the Ordince could have been the outcome of the NITI Aayog’s recommendation that ecting laws on land acquisition should be left to the States, since the subject is on the Concurrent List of the Constitution. The government should by now begin to appreciate how the proposed law on land acquisition could cause a spurt in the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes in the me of development. After all, development is not just concrete and steel buildings. Stepping up agricultural output rates a far higher priority than it is getting now.

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