such as ports, railway, petroleum, railway, roads and mining (especially coal) will benefit from the fast-track clearing mechanism.
Another key proposal which won the Cabinet nod is the new Land Bill that seeks to replace the 117-year-old Land Acquisition Act of 1894. The Bill makes it mandatory for the government, if it acquires any land for a project involving public-private partnership (PPP), to obtain the consent of 70% of land owners. However, if a private entity wants to acquire land for private use, consent of 80% of land owners is mandatory. The Bill also has a new section listing projects that will expand on the definition of “public purpose” for PPP projects. Industrial corridors, mining projects, national investment zones and national manufacturing zones are the categories which will fall under PPP. The Bill also has provisions for penalty for those who furnish false information regarding R&R – one-month jail or Rs 1 lakh fine or both, among others.
With Cabinet approving the reduction in reserve price for spectrum auction, the government can go ahead and schedule both auctions – 1,800 MHz and 900 MHz – simultaneously by March 2013. The auctions for 900 MHz will be held only for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles because these licences come up for renewal in November 2014.
A key change in the new urea investment policy is the permission to private companies to import costlier imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) to run fertiliser plants. Imported LNG is nearly three times costlier than scarce domestic gas. Under the proposed policy, the government will provide subsidy to meet the extra fuel cost on imported LNG or coal gas. This would make fertiliser units profitable as companies would be insulated from any abrupt variation in fuel prices, experts said.