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Chidamabaram justifies food, land bills

The government Thursday defended the landmark food security bill and the land acquisition and rehabilitation bill saying the markets couldn't be "spooked or ethused by them".

"Both the bills have been in public domain for many months and have been debated enough. It is wrong to say the markets are spooked or enthused by them," Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram told reporters.

The food bill was passed by the Lok Sabha Aug 26, the land bill was taken up Thursday.

The stock markets tanked the day after the food bill was passed. Critics said it was so because it involved a huge subsidy.

According to the minister, the food bill will be rolled out in a year and the states will start implementing it in staggered manner.

He said Rs.90,000 crore provided for by the government would be enough to ensure the implementation of the current subsidised food distribution system and the new food bill.

On the land bill, he said: "The cost of land acquisition will have to be built into the cost of the project it is acquired for."

Justifying the land takeover bill, he said "it delivers justice to those deprived of their land.

"The bill will strike for a balance. People will economise on use of land," he added.