Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Lok Sabha passes Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to make it easier for government to acquire immovable property for “national security and defence purpose”.

The Bill amends the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 and changes rules for payment of compensation.

Key Features of Bill

The bill seeks to amend a provision to allow Centre to re-issue the notice of acquisition in order to ensure that the property’s owner gets an opportunity to be heard. Through it, government intends to pay fair and just compensation to land owner.

In cases where notice has been re-issued, property owner will be entitled to interest on compensation payable to them. The re-issue of notice will not apply to cases where compensation has already been awarded and accepted by the claimants. The bill will have retrospective effect from March 14, 1952, the date of the enactment of the Act.

Significance

The amendment to the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 has been done in the interest of the security of the nation. It will help corrupt elements from taking undue advantage by misusing the litigation process.

Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952

The Act provides for central government to requisition immovable property or land for any public purpose such as defence, central government offices and residences. Once the purpose for which property was requisitioned is over, Central Government must returned it back to owner in good condition as it was when possession was taken.

The central government may acquire such requisitioned property in two cases. Firstly incase central government has constructed any work at such property and right to use such work is with government. Secondly incase cost of restoring requisitioned property to original condition is excessive and owner refuses to accept property without being compensated for restoring property.

Lok Sabha passes Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha passed Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The bill replaces Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind in November 2017 and amends Indian Forest Act, 1927.

Background

Though, bamboo was taxonomically a grass, it was earlier defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and its felling and transit required permission. It was major impediment for bamboo cultivation by farmers on non-forest land.

Key Facts

The bill omits bamboo (taxonomically a grass) grown in non-forest areas from definition of trees. The omission, thereby exempts it from requiring permits for felling or transportation of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. With this, bamboo grown in non-forest areas ceases to be tree. It will encourage bamboo plantation by farmers, which will contribute to doubling farmers income by 2022.

Indian Forest Act, 1927

The Act consolidates laws relating to forests, transit of forest-produce and duty to be levied on them. Under it, the definition of tree includes palms, stumps, bamboos, brush-wood, and canes.

Significances of Bill

It will usher in much needed and far-reaching reforms in bamboo sector. It will remove legal and regulatory hardships being faced by farmers and private individuals. It will create viable option for cultivation in 12.6 million hectares of cultivable waste land and in creation of job opportunities in the country.

It will help in enhancing agricultural income of farmers and tribals, especially in north-east and central India. It will encourage farmers to take up plantation or block plantation of suitable bamboo species on degraded land, in addition to plantation on agricultural land and other private lands under agroforestry mission.

It will also enhance supply of raw material to traditional craftsmen of rural India, bamboo based paper and pulp industries, furniture making units, cottage industries, fabric making units, incense stick making units. It will also help to promote major bamboo applications such as wood substitutes and composites like panels, flooring, furniture and bamboo blind.

It will also help industries such as those dealing with food products (bamboo shoots), constructions and housing, bamboo charcoal etc. It will greatly aid success of National Bamboo Mission. It is also in line with objective of doubling farmers income, besides conservation and sustainable development.

Bamboo also has several ecological benefits such as soil-moisture conservation, conserving wildlife habitat, landslide prevention and rehabilitation, enhancing source of bio-mass, besides serving as a substitute for timber.