Cabinet approved constitutional amendment in Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast

  • The Central Government  on January 23, 2019 approved a constitutional amendment to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.
  • Cabinet has approved the landmark amendment to Article 280 of the Constitution to increase powers of Autonomous Councils in Sixth Schedule areas of North East. 
  • The amendment would impact a population of about one crore tribal population living in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • State Finance Commissions will be set up in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council. Finance Commission will recommend devolution of financial resources to ten Autonomous District Councils, and village and municipal councils in Sixth Schedule areas
  • Till now, the autonomous councils have depended on grants from Central Ministries and the State governments for specific projects.
  • If the constitutional amendment bill is passed, at least one third of the seats would be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • It also provides for transfer of additional 30 subjects, including the departments of Public Works, Forests, Public Health Engineering, Health and Family Welfare, Urban Development and Food and Civil Supply to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council in Assam.
  • A Bill in this regard is expected to be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament, a Home Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 
  • The State Election Commissions would hold elections to the autonomous councils, village and municipal councils in the areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura. This will provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level.

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