New Delhi, Jul 22: The Defence Ministry today came out in support of the amendments to the land acquisition Act brought by the government saying it ended "confusion" created by the 2013 law while acquiring lands for defence purpose.
Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar, who appeared before the Joint Committee of Parliament on land bill here, said there was "confusion" while acquiring lands for defence purposes after the 2013 law passed by the previous UPA government came into force.
He maintained that the amendments to the Act brought through an ordinance have made things clear for the forces to acquire land, sources said. He also gave certain examples of land acquisition in border areas to spruce up the defence network.
Officials from the three services were also present. Kumar faced some tough questions from members who wanted to know how the Defence Ministry would define 'defence production' as a public interest activity.
Some members were of the view that 'defence production' could also result in commercial activity as arms and equipment produced would be sold to other countries after the requirement of the armed forces in the country is met, the sources said.
When asked how much unutilised land the Defence Ministry was in possession of, representatives of the Ministry said a committee formed in February last was addressing the issue.
The marathon over three-hour-long meeting saw members grilling several top officials including Rural Development Secretary and representatives from the Corporate Affairs Ministry.