Finance Minister defends land acquisition amendments


New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has defended land acquisition amendments and said the bill is in favor of farmers. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, he said through the bill, the farmers will get proper relief and rehabilitation package. Official sources said the government is of the view that changes in the Land Acquisition Act was necessary as it suffered from several flaws and a number of states including those ruled by Congress had complained that land acquisition was not possible under the existing law. In December last year, the government had promulgated the ordinance making significant changes in the Land Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defense.

Meanwhile, a delegation of various farmer unions met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh in New Delhi. Talking to media after the meeting, Bharat Krishak Sangh’s President Krishnabir Choudhari said that they conveyed the apprehensions and views of farmers to the government and the government has promised to listen to the woes of the farmers once they prepare a draft for the same.