New Delhi: A ministerial panel chaired by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is expected to finalise the controversial land acquisition bill in its third meeting on Tuesday.

In a recent interview, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that the bill is almost ready and it will be ready to be presented before the Cabinet after one more sitting of the 14-member Group of Ministers (GoM).

Chidambaram and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia could not attend the last meeting of the GoM, which saw differences on certain clauses including on retrospective acquisitions and consent required from land owners.

During the first meeting also, the same set of issues had divided the members of the GoM.

In its last meeting, members had expressed differences over government's role in acquiring land for private parties.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy were learnt to have supported the idea of government helping private players during land acquisition.

Sources said Defence Minister A K Antony had mooted that government should step in to help PPP projects only when it becomes absolutely necessary and should stay away from helping private players in acquiring lands.

The meeting had also witnessed some ministers demanding retention of the original clause of seeking consent of 80 percent of land owners for acquiring land.

The 80 percent clause was earlier changed to the one seeking the consent of two-third (66 percent) of the land owners for making such acquisitions.


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