Tricky land acquisition bill set to be tabled in Lok Sabha

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Photo PTI
Photo PTI

The controversial land acquisition bill is set to be taken up in Lok Sabha while Congress is determined to oppose it claiming as an “anti-farmer that dilutes the pro-farmer provisions of Land Acquisition Act-2013”. Following massive opposition to the new bill, government could not introduce it in the Rajya Sabha then.While the Opposition, mainly Congress, has been saying that the government should not make the passage of the bill a prestige issue, the government is keen that the bill becomes a reality but wants to dispel the “anti-farmer” tag, which the Opposition has sought to label it with over the issue. A majority of opposition parties, including the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Left parties, have made it clear that the bill should go to a select committee.

 There has been a talk that the government could suggest referring the bill to a joint committee of Parliament in order to evolve a consensus on it. The NDA which is in a minority in the upper house failed to muster support for the bill. Kharge said: “Our stand remains the same. We want the 2013 UPA bill back”. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2015, seeks to replace an ordinance re-promulgated in April which had amended certain provisions of the 2013 act passed during the UPA rule.

 The bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha in March, could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha following which the related Ordinance had to be repromulgated after proroguing the Upper House.

 A copy of the repromulgated ordinance was placed in the Lok Sabha on April 20 and in Rajya Sabha on April 23, the opening days of both Houses in the second phase of the budget session. As part of the plan, government has extended the session of Lok Sabha by three days after a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. Sources in government said that they will make an attempt to get the bill passed in both Houses. The decision to bring the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to the Lok Sabha was taken in a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) .

 The bill was earlier cleared by the Lok Sabha on March 10 during the first half of the budget session to replace an Ordinance which had brought sweeping changes in the ealier land bill brought by the previous UPA government in 2013.  To prevent the land acquisition Ordinance promulgated on December 31 last year from lapsing on April 5, the government got it Ordinance repromulgated.  The re-promulgated ordinance carried all the nine official amendments that were incorporated when the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha.

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