Pawar heads GoM on land acquisition bill

New Delhi: Government today constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to examine certain provisions of the controversial Land Acquisition Bill.

Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy is the special invitee to the 14-member GoM including Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Highways Minister C P Joshi.

Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja, Social Justice Minister Mukul Wasnik, Law Minister Salman Khursheed, Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia are the other members of the GoM.

A number of ministers including Kamal Nath, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily and Transport Minister C P Joshi had voiced reservations over certain provisions in the bill.

Anand Sharma had also suggested that the bill be put on hold till the concerns are addressed.

Rechristened as ‘The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition’ Bill, it has been hanging fire for long even though the National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi has been pushing for the law and even has framed its broad contours.

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament in September last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which submitted its recommendations in May.