NEW DELHI: Brushing aside criticism against changes in land acquisition laws, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the amendments would ensure higher compensation to land owners while fulfilling developmental needs of the nation.
"The amendment... balances the developmental needs of India, particularly rural India, while still providing enhanced compensation to the land owners," he said in his Facebook post titled 'Amendments to the Land Acquisition Law - The Real Picture'.
Pursuant to a decision of the Union Cabinet, President Pranab Mukherjee, after some inquiry, on December 31, 2014, promulgated an ordinance to amend provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (Amendment) Act, 2013.
The decision of the Cabinet to adopt the Ordinance route to push changes in the land acquisition laws evoked sharp reaction from former minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh who had described the amendments as "disturbing" saying they would encourage forcible eviction.
Jaitley said the need to amend this Act was due and that it had been repeatedly mentioned that the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 had become obsolete and needed amendment.
"Those who are opposed to it can certainly mandate their party's state governments not to use the provisions of the ordinance. History will judge how these states will lose out in the era of competitive federalism," he wrote.