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Land Bill: Centre likely to take ordinance route again over lack of consensus

The Joint Committee of Parliament, which is looking into the contentious legislation, meanwhile plans to seek a two-week extension till August 3 to finalize its report.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: July 19, 2015 1:19 pm
land bill, land bill ordinance, ordinance land bill The Joint Committee of Parliament, which is looking into the contentious legislation, meanwhile plans to seek a two-week extension till August 3 to finalize its report.

With consensus eluding it, the land bill is unlikely to be presented in Parliament during the Monsoon Session beginning Tuesday and the related ordinance would be promulgated for an unprecedented fourth time, government sources said.

“The bill is unlikely to be brought before Parliament in the Monsoon Session due to lack of consensus. Hence the only likely probability is its repromulgation,” sources said.

The Joint Committee of Parliament headed by BJP MP S S Ahluwalia, which is looking into the contentious legislation, meanwhile plans to seek a two-week extension till August 3 to finalize its report.

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Indications are that the panel is unlikely to come out with its report during the Monsoon Session and could seek further extension, making it necessary for the government to re-promulgate the ordinance once again. The ordinance was promulgated for the third time on May 31.

Sources said further extensions may also be sought as the government does not want to bring the bill before Parliament until after the Bihar Assembly poll in September-October.

Sources in the government see nothing unusual in the re-promulgation of the land ordinance. They said at least 15 ordinances have been promulgated twice or more.

An ordinance, which has a life span of six months otherwise, has to be re-promulgated if it does not get the endorsement of Parliament within six weeks of the start of a session. Monsoon Session starts on July 21 and ends on August 13.

The government has so far maintained that re-promulgation was necessary for maintaining its continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land is acquired. Congress, which has been opposing the new land bill brought by the Narendra Modi government, had fiercely attacked it when the ordinance was re-promulgated on May 31.

Sources in the government, however, say that at least six ordinances have been promulgated thrice during various
governments including UPA-II. UPA II had promulgated two ordinances thrice—the ‘Re-adjustment of Representationof Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance, 2013’ between January 30, 2013 and Septmeber 27, 2013, and ‘The Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013’ between July 18, 2013 and March 28, 2014 in the 15th Lok Sabha.

‘The Buidling and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service), 1996’ was promulgated twice by the Congress government led by P V Narsimha Rao and repromulgated again by United Front Government headed by H D Deve Gowda.

The same happened with the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Ordinance, 1996, the Arbitration and Conciliation Ordinance, 1996 and The Depository Ordinance, 1996 which were promulgated twice by the Rao government and once more by the Deve Gowda dispensation, which succeeded him.

Sources in the government indicate there is little possibility of the government, which has just completed the first year of its five-year term, opting for the joint session route to pass the bill and invite further criticism for pushing the law ‘through force’.

The Joint Committee of Parliament, which is struggling to arrive at some sort of consensus on the vexed land issue, had earlier decided to seek one week’s extension till July 28. However, as it was not found sufficient, it decided to have its tenure extended further till August 3.

Originally the panel had to submit its report on the first day of the Monsoon session beginning July 21.

The panel will have to take the nod of Parliament for the extension when the session begins. The panel has decided to seek a two-week extension in one go now, the sources said.

Out of 672 representations that the committee received, 670 have opposed the amendments being brought by the NDA government in the land bill, particularly dropping the consent clause and social impact survey. So far, 52 representatives have also appeared before the committee.

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  1. Y
    Jul 19, 2015 at 8:20 pm
    In order to improve infrastrure land bill must supported and implemented Asaph. The farmers must also be compensated
    1. B
      Jul 20, 2015 at 1:24 am
      NDA Govt should not take Ordinance route for Land Acquisition Bill. Let the States p their own bills on these lines and introduce this bill in a proper way. Congress, Leftists ( what ever remains of them), Mandal Parties, AIDMK all are against this bill. It shall face the same fate in Rajya Sabha. Or else let the Standing Committee of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha come out with a draft bill containing their suggestions and Government put up their own version of the bill incorporating some of the suggestions. Since Land acquisition is STATE Subject, let the states p their bills first.
      1. A
        Jul 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm
        Unfortunately expectations of AAP has fizzled out
        1. T
          Jul 20, 2015 at 7:15 am
          it is violation of ethos of consution . Ordinance route was there in consution to give power to government to make a law or amend a law for emergency purpose between parliament sessions. It has to be rectified by parliament .
          1. B
            Jul 19, 2015 at 7:03 pm
            The nation has given full mandate to BJP to govern and rule, so BJP must carry forward. Sikulars and anti-natinals want India to remain backward and poor, so that they can exploit them for votes. We farmers support the Land Bill.
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