Telangana Assembly Passes Land Acquisition Amendment Bill Amidst Ruckus

The Bill was passed amidst the protests and ruckus created by the opposition parties on Sunday. While the Congress party members staged a protest in the House, BJP leaders, who were not even allowed into the House, staged a dharna and took up a padayatra from Gun Park to Assembly.

Hyderabad: The Telangana Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (Telangana Amendment Act, 2016) was passed by the Telangana Legislative Assembly without any discussion on Sunday. It was passed in just ten minutes after the House met. This doesn’t mean that it was passed unanimously. While the opposition parties demanded discussion, the government not heeding to the opposition passed the Bill.

The House met specially on Sunday to pass the Telangana Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (Telangana Amendment Act, 2016). Speaker A Madhusudhana Chary introduced the Bill in the House. Meanwhile, Congress party demanded a discussion on the plight of farmers in the State. As the members of the Congress staged a protest at the Speaker’s podium, the Bill was passed amidst the noisy protest. Taking advantage of the situation, the government strategically passed the Bill without any discussion.

Then the Speaker adjourned the House sine die. The Opposition parties are expressing anger at the attitude of the government. Some of the Congress members stayed in the House protesting against the government for its unilateral behaviour even after the Speaker adjourned the House.

As the BJP leaders were not allowed for the special session of Telangana Assembly, they staged a protest. The BJP leaders held a dharna at Gun Park and held a padayatra till the Assembly wearing black cloth. as the government which has called for a special session to pass The Telangana Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (Telangana Amendment Act, 2016) did not allow them to enter the House.

Speaking to the media, BJP leader Kishan Reddy said, “In the last Assembly session the ruling party suspended us as we opposed reservations to Muslims on religious basis. This will only hurt the BC’s. This time by not allowing the BJP leaders into the House, they behaved dictatorially. KCR’s rule is against the principles of democracy and is reminding of the Nizam rule. The CM and Speaker have to explain which law will not allow members who were suspended in the last Assembly session. It is not good for the Speaker to play the role of a mere spectator. Only those who laud the CM are allowed and those who oppose are being put away…..they don’t want people who question. The TRS government will pay heavily for such behaviour.”

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High Court Stays AP Govt’s Land Acquisition Order

Hyderabad High Court has stayed the AP Government order acquiring land at Penumaka village near Vijayawada against the will of the people.

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government is facing a lot of problems in acquiring lands for the capital of the State. Though the Naidu’s government acquired thousands of acres of the land already, it proposed to obtain land from the surrounding villages. As the villagers of Penumaka village of Tadepalli mandal refused to part with their land, the government issued a notification to pool 660.831 acres of land.

The farmers, who were opposed to it, filed a petition in the High Court. After the trial, the High Court issued orders by staying the Penumaka Land Acquisition Notification. Directing the government to progress only after resolving issued by farmers, it directed that status quo should be maintained till then.

Meanwhile, the farmers of Penumaka, though happy over the verdict, are alleging that the State government is using brutal force as they were against notification. No doubt that the fresh decision of High Court would make it difficult for the Government to acquire the land further.

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Cong wants compensation option while acquiring lands from farmers

  • State has no power to amend LA Act: Jeevan

Hyderabad: Stating that the State Government has no right to amend the Land Acquisition Act 2013, the main opposition party in the Legislative Assembly, Congress has demanded the State Government to give a chance to farmers to select the option of compensation from the Land Acquisition Act 2013 and the State Government’s “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment) Bill 2016.”

Expressing Congress Party’s view on “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment) Bill-2016”, CLP deputy leader T Jeevan Reddy alleged that the State Government deleted some sections of the Land Acquisition Act 2013. The State Government has no right to delete the sections. Only the Parliament has the right to amend the Act. But the State Government was violating the Constitution.  The State Government has to prepare its own Act with fair compensation than the Land Acquisition Act 2013. The government detained the leader of the opposition K Jana Reddy, who tried to visit Vemulaghat village in relation to Mallannasagar project land acquisition, Jeevan Reddy alleged and said that it was nothing but violation of primary rights.

Terming the government as land grabber, Jeevan Reddy alleged that the government was taking the lands of the farmers forcefully. The then central government prepared Land Acquisition Act 2013 by abolishing the 1894 Land Acquisition Act to give 130 times better compensation to the land losers. The state government has changed the face of the Land Acquisition Act 2013 totally and it will not stand in the court of law, he said and alleged that the State Government was violating the civil rights in the State.

Differing from Jeevan Reddy’s view, Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said that the State has the right to amend the Act with the President’s consent as per Article 254.

Continuing his speech, Jeevan Reddy said that the State Government removed Section 107 and 108 in the Land Acquisition Act 2013, which gives a chance to the land losers to select best compensation. He alleged that the minister was misleading the House or the officials concerned might have misled the minister in this regard. He demanded the State Government to give an option to the farmers to select on their own.

The Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary cut the mike of Jeevan Reddy and gave a chance to MIM. MIM member Moazzam Khan welcomed the Bill.

Leader of opposition K Jana Reddy asked the government to clear the doubt whether it has the right to amend the Land Acquisition Act 2013 and opined that the State Government has the right to prepare its own Bill and that should be better than Land Acquisition Act 2013. He also demanded the State Government to give an option to the land losers between Land Acquisition Act 2013 and the Act-2016 prepared by the State government for compensation. –NSS

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Reforms through law – 10 key legislations in the pipeline

By Upmanyu Trivedi

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance stormed to power a year go with a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha after United Progressive Alliance-II became a symbol of policy paralysis and dysfunctional Parliament.

The productivity of Parliament has certainly increased, but the Rajya Sabha still remains tricky for the Modi government as it lacks majority in the upper house. There were legislations it managed to get passed with support from some opposition parties, still many were sent to joint committees.  Also, there are few in the draft stage.

Following is a list of 10 important legislations that are in the pipeline:

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX

With “broad political consensus”, implementation roadmap and most states on board, the government is keen to get the Goods and Services Tax bill through. The constitutional amendment bill for GST was passed in the Lok Sabha, but referred to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers. Panel has to submit its report by last day of the first week of the Monsoon Session.

BANKRUPTCY LAW REFORMS

The new government identified bankruptcy laws reforms as “key priority” area for ease of doing business as they provide legal certainty for entrepreneurs as well as lenders. In August, a committee was set up for suggesting changes in bankruptcy laws. On Mar 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured that the government will unveil a comprehensive Bankruptcy Code in the current fiscal year.

PUBLIC DEBT MANAGEMENT

Jaitley’s February Budget added a new dimension to the government-RBI face off with a proposal for the Public Debt Management Agency of India Bill. Jaitley had to later climb down and the proposal to curtail RBI’s powers on regulation and management of government securities was put on hold at least for this year. Jaitley later said the government would prepare a detailed roadmap for the proposal in consultation with the RBI.

LAND ACQUISITION

Easily the most controversial bill in the past year was the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Modi government found itself on the defensive to shrug off the “suit boot ki sarkar” tag and had to refer the bill to a joint Parliament panel, which will give its reports on the first day of the next session. The land ordinance will be re-promulgated in the meanwhile.

REAL ESTATE REGULATOR

The opposition blocked the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 in the Budget Session labelling it as pro-builders and against homebuyers. The government earlier this month decided to refer the crucial bill for real estate sector to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha that is required to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the monsoon session.

NATIONAL WATERWAYS

The National Waterways Bill, 2015 is aimed at regulating and developing waterways for shipping and navigation. The Lok Sabha this month referred it to a standing committee. The bill seeks to declare 101 waterways across the country as national waterways, up from five at present.

CHILD LABOUR

The Cabinet has cleared the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 for being tabled in the Monsoon Session. Provided their school education is not hampered, the bill allows below 14 years to work in non-hazardous family enterprises and audio-visual entertainment industry, except in circuses. The proposed changes to the bill have come under severe criticism from child right activists.

LABOUR LAW REFORMS

The government intends to push a slew of changes in labour laws. In the Monsoon Session, the government is likely to push Code on Industrial Relations Bill, Small Factories Bill, and amendments to Employees’ Provident Fund law. Most trade union are opposed these changes. Reportedly the government plans to reduce 44 labour laws to five to make it easier for companies to do business.

CAMPA FUND

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill seeks to provide a legal framework in absence of which over 380 bln rupees, nearly 0.8% of FY15’s fiscal deficit, wrested with an adhoc committee being supervised by the Supreme Court since over a decade. Once the bill is passed, states and centre will be free to use the fund, made up of compensation deposited by project proponents for diversion of forests. The bill is now with a Parliamentary standing committee.

ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS

Proposed changes in Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Whistle blowers Protection law are also pending. Amendment in penal law on corruption, cleared by the Cabinet calls for time-bound trial and harsher punishment but mandates prior government sanction for prosecution of even retired government employees. Changes in law to protect whistle blowers, passed by the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha, limits the protection only for those who disclose information obtained through Right to Information.

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Pawan Kalyan opposes land acquisition from reluctant farmers

HYDERABAD: Jana Sena president Pawan Kalyan on Friday called upon the Telugu Desam Government to exclude the villages of Undavalli, Bethampudi and Penubaka from the proposed capital zone of Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing a media conference, Pawan Kalyan, in a rebuttal of sorts to the reaction of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and other TDP leaders, stuck to his guns about opposing forcible acquisition of fertile lands from farmers. He wanted the small farmers to be spared from the land pooling scheme. “Take the consent of the farmers and try to convince them. Constitute a committee to discuss the same with the farmers before acquiring the lands”, he said.

The film star said he had toured the proposed capital region to understand the farmers’ problems and ascertain why they were reluctant to part with their lands. His tour was not meant to create any problems for Mr. Chandrababu Naidu and his government. “I want him to stay in power till 2019. But who will come to rescue of the farmers who have parted with their lands if a new government comes into power later. There is no legal protection for the farmers”, he added.

Stating that many farmers who gave away their lands were having apprehensions about their future in the absence of legal protection, Mr. Pawan Kalyan said that their anxiety and concern should be understood. This was especially so in the case of small farmers of three villages who were solely dependent on their land for their livelihood.

The Jana Sena chief wondered how the TDP government would build a world class capital without having any funds. “I am not against building a good capital but am stoutly opposed to destroying the villages in the name of development”.

Training his guns at the BJP and its leadership, Mr. Pawan Kalyan regretted that the Centre’s promises of granting special status to AP and giving it a special financial package were not yet fulfilled. “How can the people trust BJP when it cannot keep up its promise and how can the party make its foray into the state”, he asked.

He had a dig at the erstwhile YSR regime stating that the then government had acquired the lands from the farmers and handed them over to big companies like Vanpic. He cautioned the TDP Government against similar illegal acts.

Mr. Pawan Kalyan lashed out at Members of Parliament from the state in not effectively taking up with the central government the issue of special status and sanction of the required financial assistance. The MPs should unitedly fight with the Centre and make it fulfill all its promises, he said. (NSS)

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