Shillong: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Friday approved the recommendation of the State government to increase the number of seats in the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and appointment of traditional heads as chairmen of the village councils.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the Cabinet deliberated to amend to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which the number of seats in the three district councils would be increased from the present strength of 30 to 40 seats.
Under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, Meghalaya has three district councils – for the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills – having powers on myriad issues such as forests, tax collection, and so on.
He said primarily the discussion revolved around the number of seats in the district councils and also the formation of the village councils. “Regarding the increase of seats have been discussed threadbare and most of the issues have been resolved,” Sangma told reporters.
“As far as the increase of seats is concerned, the state government has proposed that the Khasi Hills and Garo Hills Autonomous District Councils district would have not more than 40 members, out of which four members would be nominated,” the Chief Minister said.
In the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council , Sangma said there would be 32 members and two members would be nominated by the Governor. The Chief Minister said the Cabinet has proposed that the village councils will be an elected body, but the chairman will be an ex-officio member.
The Rangbah Shnongs (Village Headmen) in Khasi Hills, Sirdar (Village Headmen) in Jaintia Hills , Nokma (Village Headmen) in Garo Hills) would be the de-facto chairman of the village council. The Secretary will be elected as well as the other members.
“This has been done after thorough consultation and discussion with all different stakeholders. These suggestions have come from the district councils and accordingly the state government has proposed this to the central government. I will also be discussing this once I go to New Delhi for discussion on the border issue,” Sangma informed.