Facing stiff resistance over the land acquisition bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Sunday the government would not re-promulgate an ordinance that expires Monday. He said the government was ready to accept suggestions that would benefit the farmers. “We are ready to amend the land acquisition act to benefit farmers who were subjected to misinformation leading to a lot of apprehension in their minds on the law. I have decided that the land ordinance be allowed to lapse. But 13 pointers that will benefit the farmers will be issued,” Modi said in the 11th edition of his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Modi’s announcement comes in the wake of the government’s inability to push its proposed amendments to the land law in the monsoon session of Parliament amid widespread opposition. Just short of blaming the Opposition for stirring a controversy surrounding the land bill, the PM said: “Many rumours being spread about the land acquisition bill. Farmers have been scared… We do not want that… Amending the bill had become essential to free it from red tape.” “Every voice is important but the voice of farmers is extremely significant,” he said. Read: NDA issues executive order on land bill On Friday, the government issued an executive order to ensure the continuity of higher compensation and rehabilitation benefits for all land-losers, irrespective of the purpose for which their land had been acquired. Thirteen central acts in the order include those related to national highways and railways. Modi, during his 20-minute address, maintained that the suggestions for “improving” upon the land act of 2013 had come from states who believed that for the welfare of farmers, there should be canals to bring irrigation water, electric poles, roads and houses. In his first reaction on the recent Gujarat violence over the quota issue, Modi said the incidents, which claimed at least 10 lives, had upset the entire nation. “The recent incidents of violence in Gujarat has upset the entire nation. Whatever happens to the land of Gandhi and Sardar Patel, the nation is shocked and pained first,” he said. Referring to the growing cases of dengue in the country, Modi said it was not good that small negligence over hygiene became the cause of deaths.
2015 Kashmir Despatch