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Punjab govt to introduce Satluj Yamuna Link bill in House on Monday

The bill is called ‘The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill 2016’.

Punjab Vidhan Sabha looks set for another stormy day with the SAD-BJP combine scheduled to introduce on Monday afternoon the contentious bill seeking to re-vest property rights to the owners of nearly 2000 acres of land from whom it was acquired to construct the main Satluj Yamuna Link canal.

The bill is called ‘The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill 2016’.

The Opposition Congress claimed it was not intimated that the bill would be introduced in the Vidhan Sabha Monday.

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However, in a bid to corner the Akalis on the SYL issue, it has decided to pitch for an adjournment motion over the non-inclusion of one-time Akali favourite and liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda’s name in the police chargesheet in the Bhim Tank murder case in Abohar. The party also wants a discussion on the desecration incidents.

Congress Legislature Party chief Charanjit Singh Channi said, “We should have been informed by Friday evening about any bill [on SYL] likely to be introduced Monday. We were not intimated about any bill and we have already sent adjournment motion on Abohar incident and the dsecration incidents. We want these issues that are of paramount importance to be discussed in the Assembly rather than the issues listed by the business advisory committee,” Channi said.

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal told The Indian Express that “the (SYL) bill is being introduced on Monday.”

According to the schedule finalised by the business advisory committee, Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports on civil and commercial matters pertaining to 2014-15 are to be tabled Monday. Also scheduled is the concluding discussion on Governor’s address among other business.

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An official said the bill on SYL had already been sent to Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker but rules of business stipulate that approval of the house is needed for any ex schedule bill to be introduced and discussed. The official said that a member will have to move the proposal for the bill to be introduced and that will have to be approved by the House.

“Without the approval of the Assembly, even the Speaker cannot have any say as per rules,” the official added.

As per the schedule of the business advisory committee, the legislative business days are scheduled on March 21 and 22 when bills are to be presented.

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Notably, THE Punjab cabinet had approved the bill for introducing it in the Assembly on Monday — after a specially convened meeting of the cabinet chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday evening.

“The SYL issue is the most important issue at present. The bill would be introduced in Vidhan Sabha on Monday. The adjournment motions by Congress on other issues shows its intentions that it is not serious on the SYL canal issue,” said SAD spokesperson and cabinet minister Daljit Singh Cheema.

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 05:16:21 am
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