Levelling up Northeast, Cabinet approves amendment in Sixth Schedule adding more financial power

NewsBharati    23-Jan-2019

New Delhi, January 23: Marking a landmark decision, the Constitutional amendment to increase financial powers of Autonomous District Councils in Northeast's Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura areas under the Sixth Schedule has finally received the green signal.

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Constitutional amendment to increase financial powers of Autonomous District Councils in four Northeast states. The Finance Commission will recommend delegation of financial resources to ten Autonomous District Councils, village and municipal councils in areas under the Sixth Schedule. The funds for local government institutions will be given for development works in these tribal areas.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh informed that the state Finance Commissions will be set up in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC) and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council (DHATC) will get 30 more subjects like Public Works, Forests, Health, Urban Development, Food, etc.

The proposed amendments to have elected village and municipal councils will ensure grass root democracy.

The decision also ticks reservation of one-third of seats for women in village and municipal councils and at least two nominated members in all autonomous councils will be women.

The state Election Commissions will hold elections to the Autonomous Councils, village and municipal councils in the scheduled areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.

This fulfills commitments of Memorandum of Settlements signed by Centre, Assam and Meghalaya states, United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) and Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC).

According to the Constitution, special provisions are made for the administration of the tribal dominated areas in four states Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. As per Article 244 and Sixth Schedule, the areas are called 'Tribal Areas', which are different from the Scheduled Areas under Fifth Schedule.