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Joint Parliamentary Committee on Land Bill to meet today to find consensus on contentious clauses

A K Roy was a three-time MP from Dhanbad. He was also founder of Jharkhand's regional party Marxist Coordination Committee .

A K Roy was a three-time MP from Dhanbad. He was also founder of Jharkhand's regional party Marxist Coordination Committee .

Congress members in the committee are skeptical of the government's stand on pending issues.

In the hope of finding a headway in resolving the tiff between Centre and the Opposition on the contentious clauses of the Land Bill, the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the Bill will meet on Monday. The committee's reports will be submitted in the winter session of Parliament which begins on Thursday.

In all likelihood, the Winter session of Parliament will be a stormy one. Congress members in the committee are skeptical of the government's stand on pending issues. According to sources, Congress feels that the proposed amendment dilutes the retrospective applicability of the 2013 law passed by the UPA government.

Even as the land ordinance was allowed to lapse, the government's priority will now be to take up three other ordinance-related bills in the session. Two of these bills are The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to deal with cheque bounce cases; and The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Bill, 2015 that enables the creation of commercial divisions in high courts.

Another bill is needed to convert The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 into an Act, which was brought to achieve the purpose of speedy settlement of disputes via arbitration.

As the monsoon session remained a near wash out and Opposition parties have closed ranks to corner the government on various issues in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha even in winter session, the government floor managers are working out a strategy to pass the less contentious bills.

They are also discussing ways for clearing the crucial GST bill amid indications from Congress that it may not stonewall the measure.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will meet leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in both Houses on Tuesday, a day before he holds an all party-meeting on November 25 to reach out to Opposition to help the government pass the key bills.

There are eight pending bills in Lok Sabha and 11 in Rajya Sabha. Key bills include the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Land Bill, which is pending before a Joint Committee of Parliament.

The government is unlikely to move fast on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 after giving indications that it would prefer the state governments to frame their own bills.

Other important pending bills are The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, The Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, The Consumer Protection Bill, The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, and The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill.

(With PTI inputs)