Parliamentary panel on land acquisition bill to seek extension

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) A 21-member joint committee of parliament examining the issue of land acquisition is likely to seek an extension in its term till the first week of the monsoon session, one of its member said on Monday.

Panel chairman S.S. Ahluwalia (BJP) is likely to move a resolution in the Lok Sabha either on Tuesday or Wednesday to seek an extension of its term, B. Mahtab, a Biju Janata Dal member, told IANS after the panel’s meeting.

“At today’s meeting, due to on-going election process, not many members came. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar suggested that the panel should seek an extension and it was decided accordingly,” he said.

He said the committee, examining the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, decided to seek the extension as several states were yet to submit responses and furnish details on the status of land acquisition mechanisms in their jurisdiction.

The committee’s term is coming to an end on March 16, the last day of the first part

of the ongoing budget session of parliament.

“Due to the coming elections in four states and one union territory, the committee’s next round of meeting is likely to be held in May-end,” he said.

Mahtab said Monday’s deliberations in the panel went on smoothly wherein authorities were asked to get details of the responses from states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.

“These states need to submit their responses under the Rule 24 (2) of the bill on important provisions of the land compensation and ownership,” Mahtab said.

The bill under consideration was passed in the Lok Sabha in March 2015, but was stalled in the Rajya Sabha and thereafter referred to a joint parliamentary committee in May last year.

It seeks to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which was passed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and came into effect in January 2014.

The 2013 law, in turn, had replaced the colonial era Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

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