President clears Land Acquisition Ordnance

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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday has signed off on the land acquisition ordinance, which was reissued last week under unusual circumstances after the government failed to pass it in Parliament.

The ordinance, or emergency executive order, seeks to make land purchase easier for industry and to develop roads, ports and power stations, among other infrastructure projects.

To reissue it, the government cut short the budget session in one house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha.

The Constitution says the house where the bill is pending has to be prorogued, or cut short, for the government to issue an ordinance again.

Parliament is currently on a month-long recess after the Budget session that started on February 23. The ordinance will now be presented in both houses of Parliament again.

The ordinance now includes nine changes made when a bill to replace it was passed in the Lok Sabha last month. With no possibility of the bill making it through the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling BJP and its allies are in a minority, the government had no option but to issue the ordinance again.

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