President Pranab Mukherjee has signed the Land Ordinance, which will be re-promulgated from April 5. The re-issued ordinance has all the nine amendments included while passing The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the Lok Sabha, which has approved the Bill. However, due to lack of majority, it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. Later, based on the Union Cabinet advice, the President prorogued the Rajya Sabha to clear the way for re-promulgation of Land Ordinance.
The Government claims that this is required to give farmers higher compensation in case their land is acquired for 13 categories such as metro projects. The new ordinance needs to be replaced by a parliamentary law ultimately as an ordinance cannnot contnue for ever. However, if the government fails to do so, it can issue the ordinance again no cap on the number of times it can be re-promulgated.
The amendments in the new ordinance are --- abolition of the consent clause and also the requirement of a social impact assessment before acquisition notice. However, this will be an enabling provision which means that the states can implement it. Another amendment relates to removing the bottlenecks faced by the industry in acquiring multi-cropped irrigated land.