Govt committee begins discussion on amendments to Sixth Schedule

Shillong, Sept 19: The committee formed by the state government to discuss the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule had its first meeting on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by chairman of the committee, James K Sangma who is also the District Council Affairs (DCA) Minister, cabinet minister Hamletson Dohling, Shillong Lok Sabha MP, Vincent H Pala, the three Chief Executive Members of the autonomous district councils, nominated MDC from the KHADC Bindo M Lanong and representives from the traditional heads and pressure groups were present.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, committee chairman said that the exercise is going on.

He also said that the committee will make public what the recommendations are and put it up for the consideration of the parliamentary standing committee of the Rajya Sabha.

Sangma also said that the committee discussed the concerns of the various pressure groups the incorporation of the clause to include unrepresented tribes in the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule.

When asked on the opposition Congress demand to amend the Presidential Order of 1950 which recognises around 50 tribes of the northeast as tribals in the state, the DCA, Minister said that it did not discussed the issue since the committee only discussed the proposed amendments that are in the Bill.

Samuel B Jyrwa of the Meghalaya Indigenous Tribal Constitutional Rights Movements (MITCRM) said that they raised the issue of the proposal of having a village council and a municipal council.

He said that in the current Bill village council and municipal council in Meghalaya has been exempted for the time being till the governor decides.

“We also raised the concern of the proposed bill giving powers to the election department to hold elections to dorbar shnongs. We demand that the elections should be held by the district council,” Jyrwa said.

He also said that from the MITCRM they opposed the proposal from the government of India to nominate persons of unrepresented tribes in the KHADC and GHADC.

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