The new amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill seek to provide 400 per cent of the market price to the farmers for acquiring the lands for industrial projects, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said. The amendments also propose to provide jobs to one member of the family or salary for 20 years, once the land is acquired.
Inaugurating the NCP central regional conference here on Sunday, Pawar said that the amendments, to be presented in the next Parliament session, recommend consent from 80 per cent farmers for the acquisition of their lands. “If there is no consent from 80 per cent of the farmers, then the land cannot be acquired. Also, new rates have been suggested. We have proposed that 400 per cent of the market rate should be given to the farmers,” he said.
One member of the family should be given employment in the project or salary should be paid for minimum 20 years. “The attempt is to discourage the conversion of agriculture land to non-agriculture land,” Pawar pointed out.
Pawar said that it is the responsibility of the state government to ensure and implement the support price for coconut. There are complaints from farmers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on price stability and decreasing prices. “Once the Centre fixes the price, it is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that it is implemented. If the price goes down, the government should intervene in the market and make a purchase. The Centre will extend support tide over the financial loss suffered by the state government owing to this,” Pawar said.
Referring to the delay in implementing the Kuttanad package, Pawar said that the state machinery should ensure that the projects initiated by the Centre are being implemented properly. The Central projects have not been reaching the real needy, he said. On the occasion, Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel said that attempts will be made to revive industrial establishments under his Ministry, including Hindustan Newsprint Limited and HMT.
An in-principle decision has been made for increasing the pension age in the establishments from 58 to 60 and to carry out the pay revisions. He assured that the NCP and its Cabinet Ministers would take all possible initiatives to ensure that the Kochi Metro Project is entrusted to the DMRC under the leadership of E Sreedharan. He also promised to expedite the procedure for setting up the Kannur airport.
“A sum of around `1 lakh crore comes to the country from Keralites abroad as foreign remittance. Hence, the state should be given more importance,” he pointed out. NCP state president Peethambaran Master, MLAs Thomas Chandy, A K Saseendran, party leaders Jimmy George, Mani Kappan and Uzhavoor Vijayan also attended.