Centre in touch with Uttar Pradesh authorities over farmers'protest: Pranab

Written by: Samyuktha
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New Delhi, Aug.17 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the Government is in touch with the Uttar Pradesh authorities over farmers' protest.

Agitated parliamentarians today disrupted the proceedings in Lok Sabha, over farmers' killings while protesting the acquirement of their lands for a highway, reviving a debate over farm interests and the need for industrialisation.

"We have to ascertain the facts from the state government. Home Minister is in touch with them and as and when he will get the information ... we will be sharing with you but we have understood that till late evening, talks were going on to have some sort of amicable settlement and there is a possibility of arriving at a solution. As and when we get the confirmed news, we will share it," Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee assured the members that a "comprehensive" Bill on land acquisition was being considered by a Group of Ministers headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and would soon be presented in the House.

"They have to play a positive role in respect of ensuring the food security. Therefore a comprehensive Bill, a group of ministers under the chairmanship of Mr. Sharad Pawar have formulated and we are expecting to bring the Bill as early as possible for the consideration of the honourable House. Various aspects have been taken note of and surely when the Bill would be brought for discussion in the House, honourable members will give their inputs and after obtaining it, it will be given a final legislative form," he added.

On Saturday, at least three farmers were killed in Uttar Pradesh when police fired at protesters demanding more compensation for the land taken to build a two billion dollar six-lane highway to connect the Agra city with New Delhi.

The state government has already acquired 1,500 hectares of a total of 43,000 hectares of land needed for the project.

Locals say the compensation they received for their land was half the market price of about 1000 rupees per sqare metre. (ANI)

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