The 30-member joint parliamentary committee that will look into the land acquisition bill will hold its first meeting on 29 May, two people familiar with the development said on Thursday.
The committee, constituted on 13 May, has 20 MPs from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. “This is the first meeting. The rural development ministry will present its view,” said one of the two persons cited above.
The committee was formed after the amended land acquisition law—Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015—faced stiff resistance from the opposition. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government brought in the bill as the previous law was seen as inhibiting the growth of businesses by making the norms of land acquisition difficult.
The 2013 law—that replaced an earlier law drawn up in 1894—required that those acquiring land for private purposes get the consent of 80% of farmers or land owners and those acquiring land for public private partnerships get the consent of 70% land owners. It also required each land acquisition project be accompanied by a social impact assessment that was seen by industry as arduous.
The 2015 bill with nine amendments to the previous one was introduced and passed by the Lok Sabha in March. It was first brought in as an ordinance on 29 December. But the bill did not clear the Rajya Sabha, where it was not put to vote because the opposition commands a majority in the House. So the ordinance was re-promulgated on 3 April.