Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said that the draft of the land acquisition bill would be modified to clarify some issues as suggested by the Trinamul Congress.
This development comes after Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha MP and a member of the land panel constituted by the state government, Debabrata Bandopadhyay, raised the role of the government in the acquisition of land for private players. After meeting chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday night, Mr Ramesh on Sunday called on Mr Bandopadhyay, his “old friend” in the Planning Commission.
After the meeting which took place for around two hours at Mr Bandopadhyay’s Salt Lake residence, Mr Ramesh said: “The most important point which has been raised is clarity on acquisition by government for private company for private purposes. I have explained to Debu da that this bill provides for acquisition by government for private companies for public purposes only like say power plants or railway projects or port projects. This bill does not envisage government acquiring land for private purposes.”
Mr Bandopadhyay, a retired IAS officer as well as former land secretary of the state, informed Mr Ramesh about the Trinamul Congress’ opposition to any land acquisition by the government for private parties. “He, however, told me that the draft bill provides for acquisition by government for private parties for public purposes only. I have told him that the term ‘public purpose’ needs to be strictly defined. I have given him some suggestions over the draft of the bill,” said Mr Bandopadhyay who also gave an eight-page note over the draft bill to Mr Ramesh.
Mr Ramesh promised Mr Bandopadhyay that he will take appropriate modifications in the draft bill according to the suggestions. “This bill is better. But there are specific points we need to clarify,” the Union minister quipped. Asian Age