Days after getting the Rajya Sabha prorogued, the government moved towards getting the Land Acquisition Ordinance re-promulgated with the Union Cabinet learnt to have given its approval for such repromulgation in its meeting held on Thursday.
The Land Acquisition Ordinance — promulgated on December 31, 2014 — was set to lapse on April 5. Having managed to get the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 passed by Lok Sabha in the first half of the Budget session, the government faced the opposition roadblock in Rajya Sabha.
While an ordinance is valid for six months, it has to be endorsed by Parliament within six weeks of the beginning of the next session. With no possibility of this ordinance getting cleared by Parliament before April 5 — since Parliament is in recess and will only meet again on April 20 — the only option left for the government was to re-promulgate the ordinance.
But since an ordinance cannot be issued when Parliament is in session, the government could have only managed to do that if at least one of the two Houses had been prorogued. To tackle that, the government got the Rajya Sabha prorogued on March 28.
In its last meeting, the Cabinet had cleared ex post facto all the nine official amendments that had been incorporated when the Land Acquisition Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha recently. Now, the new ordinance will incorporate all those nine amendments.
“There is a proper process which has to be complied with. We will let you know once a decision is taken,” Communications and Information Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said when asked whether the Cabinet had cleared the move to repromulgate the ordinance.
Following the Cabinet’s approval, the recommendation to re-promulgate the ordinance will now go to President Pranab Mukherjee, who is expected to re-issue the ordinance in time before April 5.