New Delhi: The Standing Committee report on land acquisition is bad news for the corporates. It insists that land acquisition by the government can only be done for social projects and not for private-public partnership.
The bill is aimed at protecting farmers and landowners from exploitation.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already objected to it while industrialists worry that this would close their options.
Will this be the end of Singur-like battle for land? Will the farmer get his due if he is willing to part with his land to build factories?
The report tabled in Lok Sabha on Thursday recommends that land can only be acquired for public purpose which includes highways, rail, power and irrigation. It also recommends that the government cannot acquire land for public-private partnership projects.
According to the report, industry will have to acquire land from the landowner on their own and the state governments will decide on compensation on the basis of population.
Gram Sabhas and Panchayats will also be involved in the decisions on acquisitions.
This is what some of the opposition state governments wanted. The Singur lady, Mamata Banerjee, is obviously happy.
Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said, "This is what Mamata wanted."
The Industry has not seen the fineprint, but feels that the cost of acquisition will go up.
The Uttar Pradesh government, which is not happy, has said that the ban on government land acquisition for PPP projects is impractical.
Indeed in Uttar Pradesh, especially Noida and Greater Noida, several projects could be held up or even not get started if the government was to adopt the proposal.
However, faced with Mamata and Rahul Gandhi's farmer politics, saying no may be difficult for Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to balance industry and political interests.