First Panel Meet: JPC chief pitches for consensus on land bill

The 30-member body with the aim to reach a consensus regarding the Land Bill has to give its report to Parliament on the first day of the Monsoon Session.

Written by Pradeep Kaushal , Ruhi Tewari | New Delhi | Updated: May 30, 2015 1:47 am
farmer-on-jantar-mantar-759land acquisition bill, land bill, land bill parliament, land bil jpc, land bill upa, narendra modi, narendra modi land bill, narendra modi bill, narendra modi farmer, farmer riot, indian express File- Farmers protesting the Land Acquisition Bill at Jantar Mantar.

As the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), given the task of examining the Land Acquisition Bill, met here Friday afternoon, its Chairman S S Ahluwalia told the members that he would aim at reaching a consensus while formulating the panel’s recommendations.

“I will give a chance to every section to express its opinion and I will accommodate all viewpoints,” Ahluwalia said.

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The 30-member body has to give its report to Parliament on the first day of the Monsoon Session. The members of the committee include NCP chief Sharad Pawar, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, former Union minister Anandrao Adsul of the Shiv Sena, Kalyan Banerjee and Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) politburo member Mohammad Salim, senior Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh, K V Thomas and Jairam Ramesh and Samajwadi Party’s floor leader in the Rajya Sabha Ram Gopal Yadav.

Vandana Kumari Jena, Secretary, Rural Development, made a presentation on both The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 and the corresponding ordinance. She explained at length the amendments which have been introduced to the bill, including the reasons which weighed with the government on this count.

Sources disclosed that members sought numerous clarifications from Jena, particularly with regard to the proposed industrial corridor. The rationale for doing away with the “consent clause” while acquiring land and leaving out the social impact assessment was questioned by members belonging to the Congress, BJD, TMC and Left parties.

But BJP MP Ganesh Singh, according to sources, was unsure about the exact contours of the ordinance and even asked if the consent clause had been done away with.

The 2013 Act, brought in by the UPA regime, laid down that the consent of 80 per cent of land owners be obtained for private projects. The consent of 70 per cent farmers was necessary in the case of Public-Private-Partnership projects.

A Congress leader sought to know why the “1-km limit” of the corridor had been defined. BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab favoured a clear definition of the corridor.

The next round of meetings have been scheduled for June 8 and 9. As of now, the committee has some 35 working days. The members resolved to meet twice a week. The committee also decided to send letters to chief secretaries of all states soliciting their views on the bill.

Re-promulgating call likely today

The government is likely to take a decision on re-promulgating the land acquisition ordinance on Saturday. The earlier ordinance would lapse on June 4. Sources said the issue of ordinance has been placed on the Cabinet’s agenda. (with PTI inputs)

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