PM Modi to meet chief ministers to discuss land bill

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet chief ministers next week to discuss a controversial land bill in the latest attempt to break the deadlock over the policy, government officials said.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet chief ministers next week to discuss a controversial land bill in the latest attempt to break the deadlock over the policy, government officials said.

As part of its pro-industry agenda, Modi`s government has been determined to push through a land bill that seeks to exempt land purchases for certain industrial, housing and infrastructure projects from requiring the consent of 80 percent of landowners. 

Opposition parties have staunchly resisted the bill, calling it `anti-farmer`. Lawmakers in Rajya Sabha, led by the opposition Congress party, have repeatedly blocked the legislation.

To build consensus, the government has introduced several amendments to the bill and formed a parliamentary committee to examine compensation clauses and resettlement of farmers.

Modi has asked the panel to submit its report at the beginning of the upcoming session, but the committee has appealed for more time.

Modi has called the second meeting of the governing council of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a government think tank, for July 15, about a week before the monsoon session of parliament is set to begin. 

The meeting will have "many items on the agenda," economist and NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy told Reuters. But the focus of the meeting will be the land bill, according to two senior sources with knowledge of the arrangements.

The monsoon session is expected to be a tumultuous one, with contentious land, labour and GST bills on the table, and simmering political scandals threatening to disrupt proceedings.
 

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