1. Land Acquisition Act: Govt to change ‘illogical provisions’, says Arun Jaitley

Land Acquisition Act: Govt to change ‘illogical provisions’, says Arun Jaitley

The new law, Arun Jaitley said makes it almost impossible to acquire land.

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 6, 2014 9:49 AM

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government is looking at changing some “illogical provisions” of the land acquisition law and is open to rationalising labour laws to spur economic growth.

“There are some illogical provisions (in Land Acquisition Act) like land cannot be used or acquired under this law for private hospitals and schools… There are some factors in it, which certainly require a re-look,” Arun Jaitley said at the India Economic Summit here.

The new law, he said, lays down an extremely complicated procedure, making it almost impossible to acquire land.

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

Under the Act, it is mandatory to take consent of 80 per cent of the 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.

Referring to the demand for labour reforms, Jaitley said: “Some aspects of the labour laws in India can certainly be improved and rationalised.”

He further said that the government has already introduced some labour reforms in Parliament which will be discussed in the upcoming session.

“This is an area where we will have to have a much larger consideration… Some people will certainly have reservation on this issue. Will I be able to immediately get it passed in Parliament? I am not in a position to comment,” he said, adding that the government needs to convince people that a flexible policy will create more jobs.

Commenting on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stand on land acquisition act, senior congress leader Kamal Nath said: “They (BJP) are now opposing the Land Acquisition Act. They did not move a single amendment… When I brought this up on the floor of the house, not a single amendment was moved by them. Now suddenly they want to correct it.”

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

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