President okays re-promulgation of land ordinance

Ordinance should have been cleared by parliament before April 5 if it was to subsist

GN Bureau | April 3, 2015


#President Pranab Mukherjee   #land acquisition bill   #BJP   #Cong   #Birendra Singh  


President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday signed an order to facilitate re-promulgation of the land acquisition ordinance, two days before the expiry of earlier ordinance.

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday night had decided to recommend re-promulgation of the land acquisition ordinance incorporating nine amendments that were part of the bill that was passed in Lok Sabha earlier this month. However, as the land acquisition bill has got stuck in parliament owing to Modi government’s lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha, the government was forced to re-promulgate the ordinance, which was initially promulgated in December last.

The ordinance should have been cleared by Parliament before April 5 if it was to subsist. The Opposition, led by Congress party, is not in a mood to oblige the government. Sonia Gandhi has demanded the passage of the original land bill that was passed during the UPA regime.

Under the Constitution at least one of the Houses has to be prorogued for Government to issue an ordinance. Parliament is currently on a month-long recess after the Budget session started on February 23.

The land ordinance was among the six executive orders issued by the government in the inter session period. While five of them were cleared by Parliament, the land measure is stuck. Once it is re-promulgated, it will be the eleventh ordinance to be issued by the Modi government.

A possibility of about re-promulgation of the ordinance was given by rural development minister Birender Singh. "You know that the Ordinance is going to lapse on April 5. Rajya Sabha has not passed it. May be it (Ordinance) will be re-promulgated," he had said in Chandigarh when asked about the fate of the controversial ordinance.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had dismissed as "speculation" the reports that the government may allow the ordinance to lapse on April 5.

"I have seen in certain quarters that Land Acquisition Ordinance may be allowed to lapse. These are speculation. Government has not taken any such decision to allow Land Acquisition Ordinance to lapse," Naidu had said.

The BJP, meanwhile, has decided to hold nationwide rallies seeking support for land bill. The first rally will be held in Ranchi on May 6 and it will be addressed by union minister Nitin Gadkari.

BJP on land bill

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