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Opposition, Govt. in cahoots on delaying ULCRA repeal

The repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA) could be further delayed with the consent of the Opposition. Three months ago, the government chose the last day of the budget session to introduce the resolution to repeal the Act.

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

10 Aug 2007

The repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA) could be further delayed with the consent of the Opposition. Three months ago, the government chose the last day of the budget session to introduce the resolution to repeal the Act. The resolution might resurface in the legislative Assembly just before the ongoing monsoon session ends. Sources believe that this delay is aimed to prolong a final decision on the issue.

The opposition reacted sharply when the resolution was first tabled, arguing that such a major decision should not be taken in a hurry without a proper debate.

This time, however, the government seems to have delayed the repeal of the Act too long, violating its commitment to the Centre. In March 2006, the state had given a written commitment to the Centre to repeal the Act by April 2007. The Centre has made clear that if the state wants to avail funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, it will have to withdraw the Act.

For the government, more delay means more land acquisition under the Act. Land acquisition picked up momentum once it mustered political will to do away with the Act. The government will continue to be the owner of the land acquired or notified for acquisition even after the Act is invalidated.