New Delhi: Government on Thursday gave its nod to
a minor change to a Constitution Amendment Bill that would
enable enhancing representation of SC/ST women in Panchayats.
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, approved addition of a word `rural` before
`population` to a Clause of The Constitution (110th Amendment)
"The official Amendment proposes to add word `rural`
before the word `population` as and where the same occur in
First Proviso of Clause (2) (iii) of the Constitution (110th
Amendment) Bill, 2009," Information and Broadcasting Minister
Ambika Soni told reporters here.
"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," she said.
The Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in June
last year, seeks to hike reservation for women in Panchayats
at all tiers from one third to at least 50 per cent.
She said the amendment was suggested by the Parliamentary
Standing Committee on Rural Development in its report
presented to the Lok Sabha on July 28 last year.
"This seems desirable since the proportion of SC and ST
in rural areas of a State usually differ from their proportion
to the population of the State," the Panchayati Raj ministry
had told the Committee.