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New Delhi, Dec 13  The cabinet cleared the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, that provides for consent of 80 percent of affected land owners if the land is to be acquired by private players.

“The cabinet has approved the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill…the amendments approved by the cabinet will be tabled in parliament,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The bill also provides for assent of 70 percent of affected land owners in case of land acquisition by a public-private partnership project.

According to a clause, if the acquired land is lying unutilised for five years, then the take-over will lapse.

Further, under the restrospective clause in cases where the compensation for land acquired has been awarded, the rules of the old act would apply but in cases where compensation has not been awarded, the provisions of the new bill would become effective, said informed sources.

According to the sources, the government included the clause to take consent from 80 percent land owners for purchase of land to set up private projects on the suggestion of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Earlier, a Group of Ministers on the bill had suggested that consent of 67 percent of land losers would be enough for acquiring land.

The GoM was constituted as many cabinet members had earlier expressed reservations on certain provisions of the bill.

The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had provided inputs in the framing of the bill, said the sources.

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