Union cabinet approves constitutional amendment to Sixth Schedule

Meghalaya kept out of purview of elected village and municipal councils

New Delhi, Jan 23: Union Cabinet today approved a landmark Constitutional amendment to substantially increase financial resources and other powers of Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of North East.

The Union Cabinet approved the landmark amendment to Article 280 and the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

The most important part of these amendments is that these will significantly improve the financial resources and administrative powers of the Autonomous District Councils of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, fulfilling long standing aspirations of the tribal population in the North Eastern states.

The Finance Commission constituted by Union Government will now be specifically mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to the 10 Autonomous District Councils as well as the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas.

“This will be a game changer, as it will substantially enhance the funds available to these local government institutions for undertaking development works in these tribal areas,” the Union Cabinet said today.

The amendment also provides for constitution of State Finance Commissions in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

“The amendments will fulfill the commitments made under tripartite Memorandum of Settlements signed by Government of India, State Governments of Assam & Meghalaya, United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) and Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC),” the Union Cabinet added.

Moreover, the amendments propose to rename the existing autonomous district councils to territorial councils.

The name nomenclature of these councils would be – Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC), Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council (DHATC), Garo Hills Autonomous Territorial Council (GHATC), Khasi Hills Autonomous Territorial Council (KHATC), Jaintia Hills Autonomous Territorial Council (JHATC) and Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous Territorial Council (TTAATC) since the present jurisdiction of these Councils extend to more than one districts.

Also the amendment would mean there will also be increase in seats in KAATC, DHATC, GHATC, KHATC and JHATC.

However, Meghalaya has for the time being kept out of the purview of the provision for elected village and municipal councils and one-third reservations for women.

There will be State Election Commission for holding elections to the Autonomous Councils in Meghalaya.

1 thought on “Union cabinet approves constitutional amendment to Sixth Schedule

  1. It’s best that the Govt first ensure timely payment of material amount to all Village Employment Councils (VECs), failure of which will simply indicate shortage of govt resources and will slow down the pace of development and most importantly will irritate a lot of vendors who so far have been impatiently waiting for repayment….isn’t it wise to opt for NeFMs in this case as done with payment of wages?

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