Millennium Post

Parl panel on Home Affairs to visit Assam, Meghalaya to review 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill this week

Parl panel on Home Affairs to visit Assam, Meghalaya   to review 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill this week

New Delhi: A parliamentary panel on Home Affairs is scheduled to visit Assam and Meghalaya from January 18 to 21. The purpose of the visit is to examine the Constitution (125th Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the sixth schedule areas of the northeastern region.

Earlier in December 2019, the scheduled tour was cancelled in the wake of the widespread protest across the region against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma will examine the ground situation in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.

Sources said that the members received the official notification on January 14, after the panel's meeting, which was held on January 13 in the national capital.

On the first day, the delegation will be holding a meeting with the tribal organisations of Meghalaya, Chief Secretary of the state and other stakeholders in Shillong. On January 19, another meeting will be held at the same place with the tribal organisations of Tripura, Chief Secretary of the state and other stakeholders. Then, on both January 20 and 21, the panel will be stationed in Guwahati and will be holding respective meetings with stakeholders of Assam and Mizoram.

The Amendment Bill is currently under the review of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. While speaking to the Millennium Post, Anand Sharma said, "The Bill is with the Standing Committee. We will be submitting our report during the second half of the Budget Session. The delegation will be visiting Shillong and Guwahati and will meet stakeholders to find the facts. Government representatives of all the states will also be present."

The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the erstwhile home minister Rajnath Singh on February 6, 2019. Like the sixth schedule of the Constitution of India provides for the administration of the tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram as well as Tripura to safeguard the rights of tribal population in these states, the amendment Bill also provides for increasing the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils of this area and will impact one crore tribal people of the aforesaid states.

The amendment also proposed to provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-root level and further empowers the village councils to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, industries, and social forestry.

The Bill also mandates the finance commission to recommend the devolution of financial resources to these autonomous councils. The Autonomous Councils are dependent on grants from central ministries and the state government for specific projects. It reserves one-third of the seats for women in the village and municipal councils in the sixth schedule areas.

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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