New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Monday extended the term of the joint committee of Parliament examining the contentious land bill till the last day of the Winter session amid protests by the Opposition.
With this, it has become clear that Parliament will not decide on its passage in this session and any decision will be taken in the Budget session next year which usually begins in February.
Soon after the Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said panel chairman S S Ahluwalia had sought a fresh extension as the committee was unable to finalise the report.
He was to move a resolution in the House on November 27 but could not do so as a debate on commitment to Constitution was in progress and no other agenda was to be taken up.
Mahajan said though the resolution was not formally moved in the House, she has granted extension to the committee. Members from the Opposition, especially Congress, said since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself said that government will not repromulgate the ordinance on land, which was based on the bill being examined by the Committee, there was no point in extending its term.
The ordinance has since lapsed on August 31. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Modi's remarks in his 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme on the land bill and the extension to the committee are contrary in nature and could lead to confusion.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu explained that at a Niti Aayog meeting, some states had felt that they should be allowed to frame land acquisition laws.
The Centre itself has not taken a decision in this regard and the Union Cabinet will take a call after the Joint Committee submits its report.
In its recent meeting, Opposition members in the joint committee of Parliament had demanded calling Modi as a witness, an idea opposed by the ruling BJP and ally Shiv Sena.
In August, the panel had been granted a fresh extension to submit its report in the Winter session. Ahluwalia had been striving to submit a unanimous report.
In his 'Mann ki baat' address, Modi had said that the government will not re-promulgate the land ordinance which expired on August 31 and had declared readiness to accept any suggestions to benefit the farmers in the pending bill on it.
Giving up the ordinance route, the government had on August 28 issued a statutory order to include 13 central acts like National Highway and Railways acts to extend benefits to those whose land is acquired under land law.