Parliament sees record performance, so will be land bill

The new land bill of Modi government set for another re-promulgation

GN Bureau | May 14, 2015


#land acquisition bill   #parliament   #lok sabha   #rajya sabha   #budget session  

The land acquisition bill (The Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015) may rewrite legislative history even as the parliament saw a record performance in terms of number of sittings and transaction of legislative business.

The budget session of the parliament has ended and the government has not been able to push through the new land bill. This forces the government to re-promulgate the ordinance. The executive law was first promulgated by the President on December 31, 2014. The ordinance has to be endorsed before the expiry of six weeks from the date on which the subsequent session of Parliament begins. However, the government has not been successful in passing the legislation in the Rajya Sabha, where it does not have the majority. The Lower House had passed it on March 10, 2015.

The government introduced a fresh bill in the Lok Sabha two days back. The bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), headed by BJP member S S Ahluwalia to enable the government to buy time to put in place its strategy to cope with the Rajya Sabha hurdle. The JPC has been mandated to submit its report on the first day of the Monsoon Session. The challenge before the government is to keep the ordinance alive till then.

For the record the land bill is the only one of the six ordinances issued by the Narendra Modi Government that has not cleared the legislative test. The rest had been all passed by both Houses.

Meanwhile, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday lauded the functioning of the Parliament during the last one year stating that both the houses of parliament have turned in record performance in terms of number of sittings and transaction of legislative business.

"The Government is going to complete one year in office soon. I am happy to report that during the last one year, there has been a perceptible improvement in the functioning of the Parliament marking a beginning towards restoration of people's respect for and confidence in democratic institutions. This is a significant achievement for all the concerned," Naidu said.

Naidu stated that since May, 2014, the Lok Sabha held 90 sittings while the Rajya Sabha had 87, the highest in the last ten years. Both the Houses have passed 47 Bills, the best in the last six years, he said.

The government is keen about a minimum of 100 sittings of parliament, Naidu said.

He said that both the houses have passed 24 Bills, the best of the budget sessions of the last six years. The Lok Sabha worked for 117 percent of the scheduled time while the productivity of Rajya Sabha was 101 percent.

The Lok Sabha had 35 sittings during this budget session, the highest in the last five years while the Rajya Sabha held 32 sittings, the second best in the last five years, he informed. He said that during this budget session, Lok Sabha has lost six hours and 54 minutes due to interruptions but made up for the lost time by giving up lunch hours and working beyond the scheduled time for 42 hours and 41 minutes. The Rajya Sabha lost 18 hours and 28 minutes but gained 20 hours.

Naidu informed that the opposition had given notices seeking suspension of Question Hour on 20 days and for adjournment of business of the house on 32 days and in effect, disturbed the proceedings on 32 of the 35 working days of the Lok Sabha.

In the case of Rajya Sabha, the opposition sought adjournment of business on 15 of 32 working days. This showed lack of seriousness about the issues to be brought to the notice of the houses and the government and violation of sanctity of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Houses.

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