Land bill panel’s term extended to July 28 to submit the report

Economic Times, June 30, 2015

The government’s plan to get the joint house panel to process the contentious land acquisition bill and submit its report on the opening day of monsoon session of Parliament on July 21 faces a fresh hurdle.

Bowing to demands from the Opposition members, the panel’s term was on Monday extended by a week to July 28. This means the government will now have a window of just a fortnight to get the report submitted in time for being taken up during the monsoon session, provided the members of the panel do not press for further extensions. The industry and investors are eagerly awaiting the passage of the bill.

“The deadline of the joint house committee on land acquisition bill has been extended by a week to submit its report as most of the members have been pressing for extending the time frame because they want to have more witnesses and stakeholders examined, given the importance of the bill,” a person privy to the development said. Another person said even after the government stands to lose one week in the three-week session, further extensions to the panel cannot be ruled out. “Since the Congress and other Opposition members in the panel have been seeking one-month extension to the committee, one can’t rule out the members pressing for another extension,” he said. The committee is headed by BJP’s SS Ahluwalia and NDA has majority in the panel. On Monday it was the turn of many vice-chancellors of agriculture universities to depose before the panel, with many of them, notably Mangala Rai of GB Pant University vocally opposing the bill. Already RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh has registered its opposition to the bill before the panel.

Another RSS affiliate, Swadeshi Jagran Manchis slated to depose before the panel on Tuesday.

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