Land bill unlikely as government fears stormy session

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The monsoon session of parliament is expected to be stormy, which is why the government is likely to put off the controversial land bill this time, sources said on Sunday.

The joint parliamentary committee — which was supposed to table its report on the first day of the monsoon session on Tuesday — is set to seek an extension of two more weeks to finalise the report, the sources said.

“The report will not come immediately… while any final decision will depend on when the report is tabled, the bill is unlikely to be taken up in this session,” a Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

With the 19-day session expected to see an uproar over issues ranging from the Vyapam scam to the Lalit Modi controversy, sources said there was a feeling that the land bill will only increase troubles for the government.

With little hope of getting it passed, the government is rather focusing on re-promulgating the ordinance for the fourth time.

The opposition Congress sent out a warning on Sunday, saying the government must make “scam-accused” ministers resign if it wants to get bills passed.

“Hope Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi announces resignations of scam-accused ministers… Passing bills would become very easy,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Sunday.

The list of government business, according to sources, has 35 items, including nine bills pending in the Rajya Sabha and four in the Lok Sabha.

Besides, 11 new bills are to be introduced, as per the government’s plan.

Bills pending in the Lok Sabha include the land bill, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014, the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015, and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Crucial among the nine bills pending in the Rajya Sabha are those related to GST, the Whistle Blower Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2015.

The new bills which the government plans to introduce include the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015, for changes in consumer protection laws; Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, to settle commercial disputes outside courts; the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Services), which seeks to redress their long-pending demand of high court judges of one rank one pension.

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