Letters to the editor
Doublespeak on land
As your edit “Landing an opportunity” (December 30) notes, the changes the LARR ordinance brings are very necessary changes to controversial LARR Act, but the Ordinance route undermines the parliamentary system. The reasons advanced by the government is for bringing in better economic opportunities for the people living in these areas and would also help in improving quality of life. The existing Act, vide Section 105 (read with Schedule IV), has kept 13 most frequently used provisions for Land Acquisition for the central government projects out of the purview. These provisions are not applicable for national highways, metro rail, atomic energy projects, electricity-related other projects, etc. Thus, a large percentage of farmers and affected families were denied the compensation and R&R measures prescribed under the Act. So intense is the political position of the parties that the parties oppose bills while in opposition but rush to enforce these by ordinance route when in power. Insurance Bill, too, is typical example. Political parties can have ideological views but opposing any thing for the sake of opposition makes mockery of parliamentary process. The land laws have prevented big ticket investment in West Bengal and some other states. As people shift from rural to urban areas, job creation has to be accelerated to reduce the unemployment.
Focus on development
Apropos of the report “Land norms eased for infra, defence projects” (December 30), in a parliamentary system, unless there is an emergency warranting a legal provision, which cannot wait for the parliament session, ordinance route is not the proper way to bring such provision. That the government had to adopt this route in as many as nine cases depicts the failure of our Parliament. The related Bills could have been debated and decided in the recently concluded winter session of the parliament. Sadly, our parliamentarians are more interested in blocking the business of the parliament on non-issues rather than facilitating meaningful business on vital issues. People have voted decisively for the agenda of development and employment which needs revival of country’s economy and growth. Bringing reforms to remove roadblocks in the process should be the agenda of the entire Parliament.
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