JPC on land Bill to seek eighth extension

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Land Acquisition Bill, 2015, will seek the eighth extension in the upcoming Parliament session. The Bill that seeks to alter the 2013 Act brought in by the UPA regime was put on the back burner just months after the Narendra Modi government introduced it in the Lok Sabha in May 2015.

“Today, we have taken a unanimous decision to seek an extension for the JPC. Out of 29 clauses, we have achieved unanimity on at least 27. More consultations are required for the remaining clauses,” one of the committee members told The Hindu on Monday.

The JPC was set up in May 2015 to examine the Bill after it was opposed by many political parties, including allies of the ruling BJP. The Bill seeks to remove the consent clause for acquiring land for five purposes — industrial corridors, public-private projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

Delay questioned

The members have been questioning the relevance of the committee. “The government hailed it as a big-ticket reform and then developed cold feet. So now instead of killing the Bill, they are delaying it in JPC,” an MP said.

The Congress members have stopped attending the JPC after submitting a disparaging note on the future of the Bill. The Bill has been on a roller coaster ride with the Centre thrice issuing an ordinance.