Government’s assurance to bring the Land Acquisition Bill proposed by the Parliamentary Committee in the monsoon session of Parliament is a welcome move. Whether it becomes a reality or not is yet to be seen as building consensus over this sensitive issue can prove to be a herculean task. The government cannot afford to hold back the bill for long as many private and public sector projects are hanging in the lurch for lack of proper land acquisition laws. Though it is difficult to say whether the Centre will be able to build a consensus on the issue or not but adopting some tough measures proposed by the Parliamentary Committee will certainly prove beneficial. For example, the committee has proposed to ban acquisition of agricultural land. Similarly it has suggested that government should not acquire land on behalf of private sectors. Heeding to these suggestions becomes rather more important as norms are often flouted to acquire land. Probably every state government in the country has some way or the other acquired agricultural land from farmers at dirt cheap prices and sold it to private sector on much higher rates. The Parliamentary Committee is very right in saying that when governments of US, England, Japan and Canada do not acquire land for private sectors then why should India?

The government should definitely refrain from making land acquisition for private sectors but at the same time should make sure that acquiring land for setting up of industries does not become difficult. It would be wise if the government is given the right to decide on land usages. These steps need to be taken for development of urban and rural areas. When rural areas are reeling under the pressure of population growth it is rather more important that the government focuses on wholesome development. A land Acquisition Bill which looks into the interest of every section of the society should be brought into force. If the Centre and state governments give priority to wholesome development then building a consensus will not be difficult.