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Government may bring Land Acquisition Bill next week in Lok Sabha

Government today dropped its plans to bring the controversial land acquisition bill in Lok Sabha and has decided to take it up next week amid talks that it could be referred to joint committee of Parliament.

The bill was last night listed for being taken up in the House today. However, this morning it was removed from the list of business.

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With the NDA yet to resolve the issue of adequate numbers in Rajya Sabha to pass the bill as most non-NDA parties remaining opposed to it, Goverment is moving cautiously on the issue.

“It’s a suggestion,” a senior Union minister said when asked about the possibility of referring the land bill to a joint committee of Parliament after introduction.

Government earlier had plans to bring the bill in Lok Sabha today as it was seeking to give another push to the controversial bill despite not having the numbers in the Upper House.

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 re-promulgated after proroguing the Upper House.

A copy of the re-promulgated ordinance was placed in the Lok Sabha on April 20 and in Rajya Sabha on April 23, the opening days of both the Houses in the second phase of the budget session.

As part of the plan, government yesterday 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 first make an attempt to get the bill passed in both Houses.

Indications were that if the government fails to notch up numbers in the Rajya Sabha, it may agree to a joint committee formula.

The government will take up the pending crucial black money bill for consideration in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The bill that deals with illicit money stashed in foreign banks abroad, providing for separate taxation of any undisclosed foreign income or assets in a bid to curb the generation of black money in the country, was introduced in the Lower House in March.

In Budget 2015-16, Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced that the government would bring in a law for dealing with the illicit money parked abroad.

On the long-pending GST bill, which was approved by Lok Sabha on Wednesday after a walkout by Congress, Government has still not given up hope of taking all sections on board.

Government sources claimed that Congress floor managers have expressed eagerness to commit their support to the bill on the very first in the next session if it is referred to a select committee this time, which examines the changes into it.

The NDA government, which is woefully short of numbers in the Upper House, does not want to take risk. “Let us play safe, let us take everybody on board,” is the idea.

“Only AIADMK has opposed the bill. Congress’ opposition is on process of bringing the bill rather than on the bill itself,” a minister said.

Government was hopeful of support from DMK, SP, BSP, Left and JD(U) on the issue but was apprehensive that it may become tricky for them to support the bill if Congress plays up the issue of larger Opposition unity.

After Sonia Gandhi’s walk out on the issue from Lok Sabha, Congress is very unlikely to support the bill in Rajya Sabha or facilitate its passage by walking out.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is keen that the bill is passed in Rajya Sabha with a larger consensus, a minister said.

The minister also downplayed the opposition by Congress to extension of the Budget session of Lok Sabha for three more days saying that there are at least 16 instances of extending or pre-poning the session.


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