Government should not acquire land for private businesses

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development also recommended that land should be returned after five years from date of possession if it is not used for the purpose for which it was acquired

New Delhi:  Setting tough conditions for land acquisition, a Parliamentary panel on Thursday said the government should not acquire land for private businesses and stressed on a clearer definition of "public purpose" in this regard, reports PTI.

"Public purpose" in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill should be limited to linear infrastructure and irrigation, including multipurpose dams and social sector infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and drinking water or sanitation projects constructed at state expense, the panel said.

"All cases of land acquisition must entail obligations for adequate compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to all land losers and other affected persons," said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development, chaired by BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan, in its report on the Bill.

The report was tabled in Parliament today.

The panel has suggested that land acquisition for any purpose should be brought under the purview of this legislation, which currently exempts land acquired under 16 Acts listed in the Fourth Schedule from its ambit.

On the issue of fixing compensation for land acquisition, the Committee suggested that the government constitute a multi-member land pricing commission to finalise the cost of acquisition of land.

It also recommended that land should be returned after five years from date of possession if it is not used for the purpose for which it was acquired.

The Committee also recommended scrapping of a provision that allowed the Centre to amend the Act by issuing a notification.

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COMMENTS

Aban

5 years ago

Under no circumstances should the state facilitate the acquisition of land for setting up any project for private profit. Nor should the WB govt. proceed with its policy of introducing political workers in the garb of land agents (land mafia, actually) to do so on behalf of the govt. ostensibly to "help"the owners. When the economy has been opened up, why should purchase and sale of land not also be left to the market forces without any intervention of the "lanf mafia"but strict vigilance by the state to ensure that the small landholders are not looted and compelled under threat to sell?

Nagesh Kini FCA

5 years ago

Certainly not for PPPs which have become convenient conduits for cornering public lands!

Motion in Rajya Sabha to annul rules to control internet content

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone

New Delhi: In the wake of a recent court order directing internet giants to remove objectionable contents from Indian websites, an opposition member on Thursday brought a motion in Rajya Sabha for annulment of government rules aimed at regulating internet content, reports PTI.

The statutory motion, moved by P Rajeeve (CPI-M), demanded that the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, are ultra vires of the provisions of the parent IT Act and violate the freedom of speech and expression.

He said the rules should be done away with and noted that Parliament had powers to intervene in matters of subordinate legislations like this and asked the government to bring the required amendments instead of bringing such rules.

Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley complimented Rajeeve for bringing to their notice that Parliament had a role in not just enacting new laws but also in overseeing and supervising subordinate legislations.

Noting that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone, Jaitley urged the Minister to "reconsider the language of restraints" to prevent its misuse.

He said he had no objection to the architecture of the Bill but felt "there is need for a balanced approach".

EMS Natchiappan (Cong) said there was a House Committee on subordinate legislations to look into such matters.

The IT Rules of 2011 stipulate that websites "cannot host information that is a grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever, harm minors or infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary right."

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India's gold demand in January-March falls 29% to 207.6 ton: WGC

Despite all the challenges - price rises, economic slowdowns, rapid social change, gold retains its lustre for consumers feels the WGC

Mumbai: Gold demand in the India declined 29% to 207.6 tonne during the first quarter of this year due to new tax on gold jewellery, increased import duty and weakness and volatility in the rupee, a World Gold Council report on Thursday said.

India's first quarter gold demand decreased 29% in volume at 207.6 tonne, on a year-on-year quarterly basis, while dipped by 3% at Rs56,650 crore terms of value, the report said.

"The beginning of 2012 has been a challenging period for the Indian gold market. Despite all the challenges - price rises, economic slowdowns, rapid social change, gold retains its lustre for consumers. We are optimistic that demand levels will normalise in the upcoming months as Indian consumers adjust to the new gold landscape," WGC Managing Director, India and Middle East, Ajay Mitra said in a release issued here.

There was a 21-day nationwaide strike by retailers after the government proposed one percent excise duty, and increased the custom duty from two percent to four percent.

The government later rolled back the decision of imposing excise on jewellery.

Gold has been a strong performing asset and as Indians have always had a very deep emotional affinity towards the yellow metal, this will continue to fuel demand, he explained.

"We believe that the encouraging levels of demand seen during Akshaya Tritiya and the recent wedding season will flow through into the second quarter, as more consumers build gold purchases into their budgets," he added.

The jewellery demand in volume terms also fell by 19% to 152 tonne from first quarter 2011. However, in value it increased by 10% year-on-year to a record high of Rs41,480 crore.

Gold investment demand stood at Rs15,170 crore, a 27% year-on-year decline, in value terms. Investment demand tonnage was down 46% from the previous year at 55.6 tonne, it added.

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COMMENTS

Aban

5 years ago

If so, then there is no resultant fall in the gold prices across the country though!

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