Hyderabad: Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday asserted the Land Bill proposed by the NDA government is pro-farmer and will reduce poverty, even as he favoured a national debate on the legislation.

“The proposed Land Bill is equally important to lift the farmers and rural areas to a new level of sharing the fruits of development. Our intention is to see that farmers benefit, their children get employment," he told reporters.

“I appeal to all parties to enable taking forward this legislation. Meanwhile, let there be a national debate–states have the liberty and power to implement the new Bill or the old UPA bill—let them decide. Then where is the problem," the Union parliamentary affairs minister said.

As for options being explored by government apart from re-issuing the land ordinance which will expire soon, he said, “Options and strategies are not revealed. But, you know better than us because you can also do your research." Asked if re-issuing the ordinance was an option, he said the government would see the provisions available in Constitution and the precedents set by the previous governments.

“I am not saying anything. I leave it to you. There are provisions available in the Constitution. There are precedents set by previous government." When he told leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad on the urgency to pass the bill as the session would be adjourned on 20 March and only meet again on 20 April, the latter was quoted as saying by the Minister, “Mr Naidu, why are you in a hurry? You adjourn the House on 20th, issue an ordinance. What is there? You can re-issue ordinance. We have also brought ordinances. Its on record." “He (Azad) has already given some ideas. Let’s see. What are precedents set up by previous government earlier," the minister said.

On the opposition voiced by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, he said one should go through the details and come to a conclusion. The government issued the ordinance after holding widespread consultations, including calling a meeting of all states and taking note of the letters written by the then Maharashtra chief minister (Prithviraj Chavan) and the then Union minister Anand Sharma to the then prime minister opposing the UPA bill, Naidu said.