New Delhi, April 3:
A day before it was to lapse, the land acquisition ordinance was re-promulgated on Friday with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent to it, official sources said.
The ordinance, promulgated on December 31 last year to amend the earlier act passed by the UPA government in 2013, was set to lapse on Saturday.
The re-promulgated ordinance includes the nine amendments with which The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was passed in the Lok Sabha in the budget session’s first half.
The union cabinet recommended the ordinance’s re-promulgation on March 31 after the government failed to secure passage for it in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling National Democratic Alliance is in a minority.
To enable this, the government has got the Rajya Sabha prorogued. Under constitutional provisions, at least one of the houses has to be prorogued for the government to issue an ordinance. Parliament went on a month-long recess on March 20 and would reconvene on April 20.
Mukherjee had, however in January this year, cautioned that the ordinance route should be taken only in “compelling circumstances”.
“To meet certain exigencies and under compelling circumstances, the framers of the constitution deemed it necessary to confer limited legislative power upon the executive by way of promulgation of ordinances when the legislature is not in session and circumstances justified immediate legislation,” he had said.
The Congress and other parties have mounted a strong attack on the ordinance.
Coinciding with the beginning of the budget session, activists and political parties had held a two-day protest at Jantar Mantar against the new bill.
Against this backdrop, sources said the government is mulling over the option of enhancing the compensation from the current provision of “up to four times the market value in urban markets”.
Discussions are, however, at a preliminary stage, the sources said.
The fresh ordinance, approved by the cabinet, does not touch the compensation issue.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive meet, which is being held in Bengaluru, is also discussing the land bill and exploring possibilities of getting it passed in parliament.
Party president Amit Shah accused Congress of misguiding the masses on the land acquisition bill and said they would take their message to the farmers.
“We are are going to do a social campaign and people will support it. BJP is a friend of farmers. It is farmers who have given us mandate,” he added. IANS