Real Estate Bill: United Opposition forces deferment in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: The controversial Real Estate Bill, that seeks to regulate realty business, was on Tuesday put off indefinitely after a united opposition insisted on sending it to a Select Committee of Parliament in Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA is in a minority.

The Real Estate (Amendment) Bill was listed for consideration and passing but opposition members objected to this, saying Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Venkaiah Naidu had assured the House that it will be brought only after consultations with various parties.

 Real Estate Bill: United Opposition forces deferment in Rajya Sabha

File photo/Rajya Sabha

The issue was raised by Naresh Agrawal of Samajwadi Party and he was joined by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. Both demanded that the bill be referred to a Select Committee. Derek O'Brien (TMC) also joined to make the same demand.

Sensing the mood, the government, which faces numbers crunch in the Upper House, said it was not insisting on taking up the bill even though it was listed.

Naidu said he had informed the House that he would not take up the bill for consideration till consultations wth parties is over.

"I have started consulting political parties. I could not complete the consultations due to the holidays. I have talked to some people on telephone and talked to some others today... I am not pursuing the bill till the consultation process is complete," he said.

Naidu said he would like the House to consider, before the end of this session on 13 May, whether or not to send the bill to a Select Committee. However, some members objected to this also, prompting the Minister to say that he will bring the bill only after after consultations are completed.

The Minister said the bill has been listed as "a matter of abundant caution" as business has been carried forward for today.

"As a matter of abundant caution, the business has been carried forward. The consultation process is on. I will keep the assurance given by me. I also have in mind the suggestion of sending the bill to a Select Committee," Naidu said.

Earlier on 29 April also, the government was forced to defer the bill after opposition insisted on sending it to a Select Committee for proper scrutiny.

The development came against the backdrop of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi vowing to oppose the bill. He has alleged that the bill would favour builders at the cost of middle-class flat buyers.

Raising the issue, Naresh Agrawal said, "The intentions of the government are not good. The bill is the property of the House. How has it been included in the business of the House?"

Joining him, Azad said he has already given a notice in this regard and also recommended the names of members for inclusion in the Select Committee.

"Sharad Yadav and myself have given the notice to send the bill to the Select Committee," the Congress leader said, adding that Naidu had assured the House that the bill will be discussed with parties but there have been no consultations.

"The bill should be sent to a Select Committee and not to a Joint Committee of both Houses," he said.

Derek said there should be no consultations "behind closed doors" and insisted that the bill be sent to the Select Committee.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the demand would be taken up only when the issue is taken up in the House.

The bill, moved by the previous UPA government, has been brought by the current dispensation with amendments to the proposed legislation that will bring under its ambit commercial and all ongoing projects as also brokers while safeguarding consumers.

PTI

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Updated Date: May 05, 2015 16:53:33 IST