Land bill, GST to be referred to panels
DNA, May 12, 2015
With the entire
Opposition resisting the land acquisition bill, the government
is all set to refer it to a joint committee, in a strategy aimed
at ensuring its passage in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The 30-member panel is likely to be headed by senior BJP member
of parliament SS Ahluwalia.
The ruling NDA will
have a numerical edge over the Opposition in the committee,
which will have representatives of parties from both Houses,
including around 12 from the BJP. The proportion of members on a
joint committee from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is generally 2:1,
Under the rules, the
motion appointing a joint committee mentions a specific date or
indicates the period within which its report is be presented to
the House. If a specific date is not mentioned, the committee
has to report by the last day of the first week of the next
session or on the opening day of the next session. With the
Chairman being from the BJP, the ruling side would have a say in
setting the timeline for presenting the report, sources said.
Meanwhile, the land
acquisition ordinance is likely to be repromulgated again,
government sources said. The Ordinance has already been
repromulgated twice as the bill has been facing stiff resistance
from the Opposition, which has dubbed it as "anti-farmer".
The government has
been trying to counter the Opposition campaign inside and
outside Parliament but being in a minority in Rajya Sabha, it
finally decided to refer it to a Joint Panel. Sources said if
after that the bill was rejected in Rajya Sabha, the government
could go in for a joint session in which it would have a
While passage of the
bill will be put off till the next session, which begins in
July, the government has sent a message on its intent on the
legislation, a top government source said.
This is the first
time in ten years that a bill is being referred to a Joint
Committee. In the past two decades, a Joint Committee has been
set up on six occasions, including on the Scheduled Tribes
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005, Central Vigilance
Commission Bill, 1999, Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers
Rights Bill, 1999
A Joint Committee
becomes functus officio as soon as it presents its final report
to the House and thereafter a Motion to refer another Bill to
that Committee cannot be moved, sources said.
On Monday, after the
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition
Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha amidst protests from the
Opposition, Government floor managers were busy finalising the
process of setting up a Joint Committee. Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Venkaiah Naidu had meetings with leaders of political
parties, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma of
Congress. However, the Congress had not given the names of its
members till late in the evening. Among those in the Joint
Committee are Kalyan Banerjee (TMC), B Mahtab(BJD), Anandrao
Adsul (Shiv Sena), Murali Mohan (TDP), B Vinod Kumar (TRS) and
Vara Prasad Rao (YSR Cong).
Meanwhile, the GST
could be referred to a 21-member Select Committee, which is
likely to be headed by senior BJP Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav.
However, government sources said last minute efforts were on
push the GST bill in Rajya Sabha.
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