Home >politics >policy >Land bill referred to joint panel

New Delhi: The government was forced to defer its plan to legislate and refer the controversial land acquisition bill, along with the GST bill, to parliamentary committees.

For the land bill, a 30-member joint committee of Parliament, which will have 20 MPs from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, has been told to submit its report on the first day of the Monsoon session.

Mint reports that this is both good and bad news for the government. Good since the government has managed to buy some time to make a fresh case for its new land law before the committee in which it will hold the majority voice, and bad since it will delay the NDA government’s plans to push reform initiatives.

To read Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s admission that the 2013 legislation on land acquisition, approved with BJP’s backing, was flawed, click here.

Mint reports that the GST bill will now be reviewed by a select committee of the Rajya Sabha and this may delay the GST roll-out on 1 April 2016, as promised by the government.

Earlier this week, in an interview to Dainik Jagran, Modi accused vested interests of creating confusion over changes in the land bill. “After I had formed the government, almost all chief ministers told me only one thing—that the land acquisition bill needs to be corrected. Otherwise, we will be nowhere. I have their letters also," he told Dainik Jagran in an interview published on Monday. More here.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi appeared combative in the House on Tuesday and accused the Centre of wanting to take land from farmers so that it can give it to its “industrialist friends" and crony capitalists and warned the government that his party would take to the streets to stop the government if it doesn’t succeed in stopping it in Parliament.

“Farmers of India, you have gold underneath your feet! These people (the government) want to snatch that gold from you," he said during discussions on the land bill, as reported by the Indian Express. More here.

The Hindu reports that while for earlier interventions this session, it was mostly only Congress members who applauded Gandhi, this time others in the Opposition reached out to congratulate him.

The Congress, which was in two minds about joining the committee on the land bill, finally decided to go ahead with it.

Union minister of rural development, Panchayati Raj, sanitation and drinking water Chaudhary Birender Singh, while moving the motion to form the committee, said the government is ready to listen to suggestions of all political parties, chief ministers and other stakeholders. “We will also talk to farmer unions and labour unions in the course of the meetings of the committee. The suggestions of the joint committee will be part of the bill. This bill is in the interest of the farmers, and it is also important for the development of the country," he said, according to Mint.

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