Deshmukh to hold consultations with TC leaders on land bill

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New Delhi, May 20: As it plans to introduce a new land acquisition bill in the next session of Parliament, the Government on Saturday, May 20, said it would hold consultations with stakeholders concerned and leaders of Trinamool Congress, which is opposed to certain provisions of the legislation.

Rural Development Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh said the ministry would complete its consultations on the issue by the end of this month after which a draft of the bill would be sent to the Law Ministry.

"Land Acquisition Amendment Bill will be introduced in the coming Parliament session. We will talk to all those who have made separate recommendations in this regard. We will complete the talks by the month end after which we will send the draft to Law Ministry from where it will go to the Cabinet," he told reporters here.

Deshmukh, who held discussions with a group of MPs on the issue today, will meet members of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council in the next few days.

In its recommendations on the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, the NAC has proposed integration of relief measures with land acquisition initiatives.

Sources said Deshmukh, who was to fly to Mumbai on Saturday, was asked to cancel his visit and brief the media on the issue by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Replying to a question on whether his ministry will also be in touch with the NAC, on the Bill, Deshmukh said, "We are also in touch with them and likely to discuss the proposals they have. NAC discussion paper have reached my office."

Downplaying questions about Mamata Banerjee's opposition to certain provisions of the Land Acquisition bill, Deshmukh said he would hold talks with TC leaders before the bill is sent to the Cabinet.

Deshmukh said that there are different suggestions on the issue of the percentage of people whose consent should be necessary for acquiring land in an area. It is an issue which has to be decided.

PTI

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