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FM Jaitley insists govt not making land acquisition Ordinance a prestige issue

"It is not a prestige issue for us... We need to change the law of 2013 for the development of the country, especially the villages," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

twitter-logoPTI | March 28, 2015 | Updated 17:57 IST
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The government on Saturday insisted that it was not making the land bill a "prestige" issue and was willing to have a discussion with opposition parties to sort out differences, even as it looked set to re-promulgate the Land Acquisition Ordinance.

"It is not a prestige issue for us... We need to change the law of 2013 for the development of the country, especially the villages," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters in Varanasi while replying to questions over the controversial Land Ordinance.

"We brought nine amendments to our original Bill and are still willing to sit with opposition parties who are objecting to the bill. If they have any suggestions which would be beneficial for the country, we are ready to discuss... The opposition should give up its adamant attitude. It will be good for the country," Jaitley added.

ANALYSIS:Govt has to fight Opposition politically for Land Bill

The Finance Minister's comment came a day after the government decided to prorogue Rajya Sabha where the Land Acquisition Bill is stuck and re-promulgate Ordinance on the same as the earlier one lapses on April 5.

The Budget session of Parliament is currently in a month-long recess and will re-convene on April 20. Under the Constitution, at least one of the Houses has to be prorogued for government to issue an Ordinance.

Justifying the need to amend the Land Act of 2013, Jaitley said that law is a "hindrance" in the path of development as it "does not give permission" to acquire land for key infrastructure projects like PM Gram Sadak Yojana, irrigation yojana, rural electrification, housing-for-all as well as airports and seaports.

The minister attacked opposition party Congress, alleging that its main objective was to stall the NDA government's policies and it was not concerned about the development of the country.

He also alleged that the opposition was "misleading" public on the issue.

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