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Hinting at the government's intent to seek a consensus on passing the land acquisition bill, President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the interest of farmers and land owners has been protected in the fine-tuning of the bill.
"Protecting the interest of the farmers, their right to fair compensation, rehabilitation, resettlement and financial compensation has been refined," Mukherjee told the joint sitting of parliament on the opening day of the budget session.
"Land acquisition is required for critical public projects like rural hospitals and schools," he added.
In December, by an executive ordinance the government made significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act, including removal of a consent clause for acquiring land for purposes of industrial corridors, public-private partnership projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.
The Bill is likely to be introduced in the ongoing session to replace the ordinance.
Social activist Anna Hazare has called for a two-day agitation against the law here beginning Monday. Protests are also planned by Congress under its vice president Rahul Gandhi on Feb 25. The Aam Aadmi Party has also decided to support Hazare's protest.
The Congress party has also decided to oppose the law in parliament.
The government is also emphasising on clean energy and aims to take up the share of clean energy upto 15% in next seven years, Mukherjee said.
EASE OF BUSINESS
President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the government was committed to promote cooperative federalism and end financial "untouchability" to enhance the ease of doing business in India.
Addressing the joint session of the parliament ahead of the budget session, Mukherjee said the government was working to ensure "promoting cooperating federalism" and encourage "competitive spirit among the states".
Underscoring the importance of "tapping the demographic dividend", Mukherjee said the government has initiated measures "to stimulate action in a range of fields from sanitation to smart cities, poverty elimination to creation of wealth".
Highlighting the government's achievements so far, the president said the government was working to enhance the ease of doing business in India and put in place a stable policy framework.
He also said the government was working to make India a manufacturing hub by ending financial untouchability as well as containing inflation and stimulate economy.