SHILLONG, Jan 19 (AGENCIES): A day after consultations with the state’s stakeholders over the proposed amendment of the Constitution’s sixth schedule, Anand Sharma, who chairs the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, said on Sunday the panel would submit its observations by March.
The amendment bill, currently under the review of the committee, seeks to increase the executive and financial powers of autonomous councils in the sixth schedule areas of the Northeast.
The Congress MP, who was in Shillong to hold a meeting with the representatives of the Meghalaya government and three autonomous district councils (ADCs), said he was apprised of the concerns of local people over the proposed amendment.
He, however, refused to share the details. “Hopefully, the committee will be able to submit its report to Parliament by March. I am not going to share any details (as of now),” the Rajya Sabha MP told reporters.
The panel will examine the ground situation in the states of Assam, Mizoram, and Tripura before preparing the report, he added.
Among others who attended Saturday’s meeting was opposition Congress leader and former CM Mukul Sangma, who said “it was a privilege to be a part of the deliberations”.
“It is an exercise before the amendment of the legislation. Until it is tabled in Parliament, it remains a secret document,” he said.
Asked about the proposal to nominate unrepresented tribes in the three district councils of the state, Latiplang Kharkongor, a member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), said it has registered strong opposition against the idea.
KHADC chairman PN Syiem told reporters that the council has also sought an increase in the number of seats -from 35 to 37 – with two seats reserved for women.
“Sharma has assured us that our views and suggestions would be taken into consideration before the report is submitted to Parliament,” Syiem added.