Monday November 19, 2018
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Land Bill: Government formulates committee to supervise rehabilitation and resettlement of farmers

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

NDA government’s move to bring the amended Land acquisition law has seen a widespread protest from the farmers.  As reported by Economic Times, “The government’s move to issue an ordinance that dropped the mandatory social impact assessment and the consent clause for five sectors in a bid to spur infrastructure development and industrialsation” remains a bone of contention.

Therefore a top notch committee has been formulated which will scrutinize and supervise the implementation of the rehabilitation and resettlement act. This committee will comprise of 25 members chaired by the secretary of various central ministries, revenue secretaries of Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu. The committee will ensure that all the provision of resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) as prescribed in the act are enforced even before the land is acquired. This step will help the government to prove its good intensions.

The R&R provisions of the 2013 Act include rehabilitation and resettlement amount payable to the family, a house to be allotted in case of displaced families, onetime subsistence allowance and transportation allowance, payment for cattle shed and shops, one-time payment to artisans and small traders as well as a provision for mandatory employment to be provided to the members of the affected families.

The government brought about changes in the original law through an ordinance on Dec 29,2014 which they later passed in the government in the parliament during the budget session and was given consent in the Lok Sabha after the government made nine fresh changes to the act to pander to the demands of both allies and opposition. The most important infusion consisted of compulsory employment clause.

Moreover under the original law, land acquirers needed 70% consent of land holders in case of public and PPP projects and 80% in case of private ones and the maximum time allotted for social impact assessment was 6 months. But now according to the proposed law, the projects related to affordable housing, defence manufacturing, public-private partnership projects, industrial corridors and rural infrastructure are not subjected to mandatory consent of landowners and their social impact assessment.

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)