Land Bill may be referred to joint parliamentary panel

The Lok Sabha is all set to refer the Land Bill to a Joint Parliamentary Panel. The Bill is listed for introduction in the Lower House on Friday.

Key government functionaries confirmed here on Thursday that the joint panel proposal has been proposed to end the political stalemate on the Bill.

The Bill titled, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015, intends amending Land Act enacted by the Congress Government.

Since the panel will originate from the Lok Sabha, majority of the constituents will belong to the Lower House. The Speaker will nominate members from the Lok Sabha while the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha will choose representatives from the Upper House.

More Lower House mebers

The Lower House will have twice the number of members compared to the Upper House in the panel. The Speaker can direct the panel to give its report within a fixed timeline.

Joint parliamentary panel works like a select panel. Both of them are ad hoc committee and assigned to consider the Bill clause-by-clause just as the House does.  Amendments can be moved to the various clauses by the members of the Committee.  After the report of the joint panel has been presented to the House, the member-in-charge of the Bill usually moves motion for consideration of the Bill.

Though the government is not bound to accept the recommendations of the committee, but political consideration makes the government to do so.

The Bill, once enacted, will replace the ordinance, re-promulgated for the second time in April.

The ordinance was re-promulgated after the Rajya Sabha failed to take up the Bill. Now, re-promulgation prescribes the government to bring a fresh Bill. The ordinance will lapse in June.

Nine amendments

The Bill is seeing opposition from the Congress, which is saying that the amendments are anti-farmers. The government, on the other hand, is maintaining that the amendments are required to help faster acquisition of land for industrial activity.

The government brought nine amendments to the Land Bill approved by the Lok Sabha earlier this year. One of the key amendments is about removing social infrastructure from the five exempted categories — defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure & social infrastructure, including PPP projects, where the government owns the land. Exemption would mean for these categories consent clause and social impact assessment will not be required.

Another amendment specifies the definition of industrial corridors as those set up by the government/government undertakings, up to one km on either side of the road/railway of the corridor.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/land-bill-may-be-referred-to-joint-parliamentary-panel/article7181468.ece

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