The journey of the land acquisition bill

* The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 is meant to replace the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

* The 1894 Act does not provide for rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced families. A National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy was approved by the government in 2007 to remedy this.

* To give legislative backing to the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, and to bring the 1894 Act in accordance with it, the government introduced the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill in 2007.

Both bills lapsed due to the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha in 2009.

* In 2011, another effort was made to repeal the 1894 Act. This time, the government introduced a comprehensive bill that integrates both land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement. This bill has cleared a parliamentary commentary but is yet to be debated and passed, even though political consensus has been reached on it.

* Since it was introduced in the Lok Sabha this bill will lapse if it is not passed in the monsoon (July-August) and winter (November-December) sessions of parliament. A truncated budget session will be held in February 2014 – during which no business can be conducted barring a vote-on-account – before the general elections in April-May.

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