In an attempt to prevent infrastructural projects from being caught up in procedural delays, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday approved certain relaxations in the government’s land transfer policy.
The move is expected to put infrastructure projects on the fast-track, so that they do not suffer from delays due to tardy land acquisition processes, particularly when all it requires is transfer of government land from ministries to statutory authorities or PSUs, in conformity with the existing rules, a government communiqué said.
Significantly, the relaxation in the land transfer policy announced on Thursday has a finality about it because it will not have to go through the rigmarole of Cabinet-approval for transfer of government-owned land for infrastructure use.
The PM may have taken this proactive step to bypass the stiff political resistance that UPA ally Trinamool Congress has been putting on the Centre on all issues relating to land acquisition. And, sure enough, the immediate response from the Trinamool camp was not encouraging.
“Let the policy details come to us, our CM Mamata Banerjee will take a call. We are against forcible land acquisition. As for transfer of government land for infrastructure projects, it has to be decided on a case-to-case basis — we are against any kind of blanket order,’’ TMC leader and MoS for Health Sudip Bandyopadhyay said. It needs to be seen if the PM pays heed to TMC, if it decides to create trouble.