Land bill introduced in LS, likely to go to joint panel

| Monday, May 11, 2015 - 21:52
First Published |

Land bill introduced in LS, likely to go to joint panel

New Delhi: The land acquisition bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, was most likely to be sent to a joint committee of parliament, sources said.

According to the sources, a 30-member committee is to be formed, of which 20 members will be from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, told IANS that the proposal was still under consideration. "We are still discussing it," he said.

A senior minister said on Monday that a final decision was to be taken after a meeting of BJP's parliamentary party on Tuesday morning.

The sources, however, said the government has already started collecting names from various parties and talks are being held with leaders over the issue.

If a joint committee on the land bill is formed, it will have majority of BJP members as it is the ruling party, government sources said.

"Usually, the joint committee has two-thirds members from the Lok Sabha and one-third from the Rajya Sabha. The BJP, being the largest party, will have majority of members," the sources said.

Recommendations of the committee will, however, not be binding on either of the houses.

A fresh legislation to amend the land acquisition bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, but major opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, staged a walkout in protest over its introduction.

Some members were also seen holding placards against the bill.

Introducing the bill, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said since the new ordinance was promulgated in April, "it is important that we put the ordinance before the house".

Almost all opposition parties opposed the new bill.

Congress leader of the house Mallikarjun Kharge said: "The bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Where is the bill, we don't know. In this situation, the bill which is alive... why are efforts being made to kill it?"

He alleged that the government was trying to impose the bill on the people. "We will not tolerate this. This bill is only for capitalists and corporates."

Earlier, after the government passed an ordinance to amend the land acquisition bill, another bill on the lines of the ordinance was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the first half of the budget session.

Despite getting through the lower house, the bill got stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in minority.

Unable to go through parliament, another ordinance was issued by the government after proroguing the Rajya Sabha and a bill has now been brought in the lower house.

The key points, which were removed from the earlier law, relates to the consent clause and the social impact assessment study.

Another key bill, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill is also likely to be sent to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, government sources said on Monday.

According to the sources, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad met Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and said the GST bill should be sent to the select committee.

The Congress leader proposed that the committee may table its report on the first day of the next session of parliament, and the legislation can be taken up then.

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