New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his government will not renew the land acquisition ordinance that lapses. “We had issued an ordinance which lapses tomorrow (August 31). I have decided, let it lapse. We will not renew it,” Modi said during his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday.
“It will mean the situation will be once again as it was before my government came,” he said. The prime minister said there were 13 points, referring to already existing Acts for acquiring land. He said the rules would be changed to give farmers higher benefit under these laws.
Modi said a statutory order was being brought to include 13 central Acts to extend benefits to those farmers whose land is acquired. “The government’s heart is clear on the land Act. We are ready to accept any recommendation that favours the farmers.”
“The ordinance will lapse, but those 13 points (Acts) will be brought under the rules so that the farmers do not suffer economic loss,” he said.
According to official sources, a statutory order issued by the government will ensure that farmers whose land are acquired under the 13 acts like the Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885, the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, and the National Highways Act, 1956, get higher compensation.
The executive order issued under section 113 of the land acquisition law, enacted by the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, extends compensation and resettlement benefits under the law to the land acquired under 13 central Acts so far not covered.
This would mean the land acquired for any purpose would now be eligible for the high compensation and resettlement under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 — the UPA version of the Act.
The ordinance was brought after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government failed to get its amended land acquisition bill passed in parliament. The ordinance has so far been re-promulgated thrice.
Modi said rumours were being spread over the Act.
“The proposal for amendment in the Land Acquisition Act came from the states. Every one felt if the farmer has to be benefited, if we have to make canals to take water to farms, erect poles to take electricity to villages, make roads, or houses for rural poor, we will have to get the law out of the bureaucratic tangles and so the proposal of changing the law came,” Modi said.
“But so many rumours have been spread. Farmers have been scared. My farmer brothers and sisters, don’t be scared. For me, every voice in the nation is important and the voice of farmers has a special place,” he said.
“There is no reason for doubt, do not be scared,” Modi added. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s land bill is presently with a joint committee of parliament.