Nod for amendment to bill on women’s quota in panchayats

July 21st, 2011 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika Soni New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The cabinet Thursday approved a proposal to add the word “rural” before “population” in the constitutional amendment bill introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2009 to enhance reservation from one-third to a minimum of 50 percent for women in panchayats across all tiers.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said after the cabinet meeting that the amendment proposes to add word “rural” before the word “population” as and where it occurs in the Constitution (One hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill, 2009. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in November 2009.

“This provision will apply to the total number of seats filled by direct election, offices of chairpersons and seats and offices of chairpersons reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” Soni said.

She said enhancement of reservation for women in panchayats will facilitate their entry in public sphere and make panchayats more inclusive.

Addition of word “rural” before “population” at relevant places in the bill will reflect appropriate demographic representation of categories of population for whom reservation has been made, she added.

At present, 36.87 percent of 28.18 lakh panchayat representatives are women. With the proposed constitutional amendment, the number of elected women representatives is expected to rise to more than 14 lakh.

The ministry of panchayati raj had moved a bill for amending Article 243D of the constitution in November 2009 after getting the cabinet nod. The bill sought to enhance reservation for women to 50 percent in total number of seats to be filled by direct election, offices of chairpersons and in seats and offices of chairpersons reserved for SCs and STs in all tiers of panchayats.

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