Govt proposes to make land acquisition law more flexible: Arun Jaitley

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2014, 00:50am hrs
Arun-JaitleyFinance Minister Arun Jaitley said he would be discussing the issue with major political parties. (PTI)
The government today said it is contemplating changes in the land acquisition law to make it "more flexible", a move which could help in kick starting the stalled projects.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing a press conference to mark 100 days of the NDA government, said he would be discussing the issue with major political parties.

"I have started working on the administration of the new land acquisition law. States and Centre are both realising the challenges and I am going to discuss with major political parties, as to whether some more flexibility could be available. And when I say flexibility, I have in mind a slight enlargement of the exemptions," he said.

Indian industry has expressed concerns over the implementation of land acquisition law saying it could impact economic development in the country.

A senior official in the Commerce and Industry Ministry too has said that it had become virtually impossible to acquire land for construction of roads, ports and creating other infrastructure under the existing Land Acquisition Act.

Under the Act, it is mandatory to take consent of 80 per cent of people whose land is taken for private projects. In the case of Public-Private Partnership projects, the consent of 70 per cent of the people would be required.

The Rural Development Ministry has already suggested a number of amendments to the Act which would water down pro-farmer provisions like mandatory consent for acquiring land for PPP projects.

It has also suggested amendment for acquisition of multi- cropped irrigated land.

Many states have opposed new Act complaining that it had hurt the process of acquiring land for infrastructure projects.