New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal for moving an official Amendment to the Constitution (One hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill, 2009 for enhancing reservation for women in Panchayats at all tiers from 33 per cent to at least 50 per cent. The Constitution (One Hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill, 2009 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on November 26, 2009.
The official Amendment proposes to add word ‘rural’ before the word ‘population’ as and where the same occur in 1st Proviso of Clause (2) (iii) of the Constitution (One hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill, 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.
Enhancement of reservation for women in Panchayats will facilitate more women to enter the public sphere and this will lead to further empowerment of women and also make Panchayats more inclusive institutions, thereby improving governance and public service delivery.
The addition of word ‘rural’ before word ‘population1 occurring in the 1st Proviso of Clause (2)(iii) of the Rill will reflect appropriate demographic representation of categories of population for whom reservation is made.
At present, out of the total elected representatives of Panchayats numbering approximately 28.18 lakh, 36.87 per cent are women. With the proposed Constitutional Amendment, the number of elected women representatives is expected to rise to more than 14 lakh. Having more elected women representatives would benefit the entire population of the States and UTs where Panchayati Raj is in existence.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj had moved a Bill for amendment to Article 243D of the Constitution on 26.11.2009 after approval of the Cabinet for enhancing reservation for women in (i) the total number of seats to be filled by direct election, (ii) offices of chairpersons and (iii) in seats and offices of chairpersons reserved for SCs and STs, to 50 per cent in all tiers of Panchayats. The proposed official amendment, as indicated above, in the original Amendment Bill will be moved in the Lok Sabha at the earliest.(INN)