Centre will let states amend land act, says Jaitley

Singapore, Sep 18 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the Centre will permit states to make amendments to the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

“If central legislation is thwarted on the land law because the principal opposition party changed its stand, then we have also found an alternate route together with states which want their land legislation,” Jaitley said at a question-answer session here following his address at the Singapore Summit.

Pointing out that Tamil Nadu has already made changes to its laws in this regard and these are being implemented, Jaitley said, the states wanting to make amendments in the central law would be permitted to do so by the central government.

“We have already started on alternative route and changes being proposed by states are in the process of approval by the Centre,” the union finance minister said.

He said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had made changes to the 2013 Act on the suggestion of state governments but Congress changed its position and opposed the ordinance, first issued in December last year.

In an article on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s website earlier this month, Jaitley, referring to the prime minster’s recent meeting with chief ministers on the land bill, said the states could decide on exemptions from consent and social impact assessment in any of the five areas including projects for national security, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects where land ownership is with government.

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