Law minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the government will table a draft law on land acquisition in the Budget session of Parliament.
It’s time that India had such a law. It would go a long way in stopping the abuse of eminent domain powers and clarify matters for industry and farmers alike.
In fact, unless this law is enacted, getting land for industrialization will remain stuck in political disputes and cronyism that is rampant in land allotments by the government. At the moment, governments take care not to forcibly acquire land; this restraint could vanish any time. Executive decisions always have an element of arbitrariness, something that a proper land acquisition law will eliminate.
The challenge, however, will be to get the law past an angry Opposition. There are allies of the Union government who also are resisting a?comprehensive law on the subject.