Uniformity needed in rotation of seats in panchayats: Panel

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 22:51

New Delhi: A measure of uniformity should be
brought in the modalities of rotation of seats for giving 50
per cent reservation to women in panchayats, a Parliamentary
committee has suggested the government.

The Standing Committee on Rural Development has noted
that in the proposed Constitutional amendment for the purpose,
the modalities regarding rotation of reserved seats has been
left entirely to the states, with the result that there will
be no uniformity among states in the matter of rotation.

"The Committee desire that action should be taken through
this Constitutional amendment to achieve a measure of
uniformity in the modalities of rotation of seats by ensuring
that rotation of seats, after at least two cycles, is provided
for," it said in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha today.

The Committee, headed by Sumitra Mahajan, noted in its
report that only Tamil Nadu and Bihar have the provision of
rotation of seats after two cycles and that the Ministry of
Panchayati Raj is in the process of interacting with state
governments on the issue.

The proposed Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha
on November 26 last year, was referred to the Parliamentary
standing committee by the LS Speaker Meira Kumar December last
year for examination and report.

The Bill seeks to provide 50 per cent reservation to
women in three tier of Panchayati Raj Institutions by an
amendment in the Constitution.

At present, only one third seats are reserved for women
in panchayats.

The standing committee also noted that in the proposed
Bill, proviso relates to the reservation of offices of
chairpersons in panchayats to the entire scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes population.

The scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribes population is
spread in rural as well as urban areas. The Committee feels
that reservation of offices of chairpersons in panchayats
should be linked only to the rural scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes population so that it reflects appropriate
demographic representation, the Committee suggested.

The word `rural` should be added before the word
population occurring in the provision of the proposed Bill,
the committee recommended.

It underlined that enhancement of reservation for women
in panchayats "ought to be" accompanied by sound measures for
capacity building and training of elected women members in
panchayats.

However, the national capacity building framework is
"under-funded and has not been effectively implemented so
far", the committee felt, saying that "this must be
corrected".

It suggested that to meet the capacity building and
training requirements of the PRIs, one percent of the funds
for centrally sponsored schemes of different ministries
related to rural development be earmarked for it.

This amount may also be utilised for catering to promote
e-governance in PRIs by utilizing the information and
communication technology network of the National Informatics
centre, it added.

"The committee desire that immediate steps should be
taken to ensure effective implementation of all capacity
building plans so that proposed enhancement of reservation of
seats for women in panchayats really yield intended results,"
it said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 22:51

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