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Maharashtra assures repeal of ULCA Bill

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai/ Nagpur 

"We will honour our commitment to the Centre on the issue of repealing the Urban Land Ceiling Act (ULCA) Bill," said Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
He was addressing reporters on the eve of the state legislature's winter session at the state's second capital Nagpur today.
The bill for the repeal of the ULCA had been on the agenda of the state legislature for the last two sessions.
However, due to a lack of political will on the part of the ruling coalition of the Congress-NCP, the bill could not secure the nod from the legislature despite the ruling combine having a comfortable majority in both houses.
Interestingly, the BJP is also for introducing a bill to repeal the ULCA. The only opponents of the bill are the Shiv Sena and smaller parties like Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) and CPM.
The dilly-dallying by the state government resulted in it getting a stern warning from the Centre who bluntly told the state that if it failed to repeal the act by March 2008, the Centre would then stop all grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to all kinds of infrastructure projects except those relating to water supply.
Deshmukh, however, dismissed the allegations that the state was being lackadaisical in repealing the bill, Deshmukh said, "The bill has been tabled for approval. But, the opposition wants a full discussion in the house on the bill and considering that the repeal of the ULCA is going to have a far-reaching impact, state government also felt that there is a need for a thorough debate in the house."
Besides the bill to repeal the ULCA, the state government will table 12 bills which include giving status of government land to all Wakf Land and using the provision to evict all encroachers from Wakf lands, just as is applicable to the land owned by the state government.
Amendments will be introduced to The Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA) to book all those involved in producing fake CDs, DVDs and cassettes of Bollywood films and songs, to enable the state government to curb the mushrooming of fake CDs, DVDs and cassettes making units.

First Published: Mon, November 19 2007. 00:00 IST