Guwahati: The Assam government on Monday introduced amendment bills in the state assembly to allow reservation of fifty per cent seats for women for ten years on a rotational basis in various wards of civic bodies to encourage their participation in the election process.

Housing and Urban Affairs minister Ashok Singhal introduced the bills on the first day of the Winter Session of the House.

In the “Assam Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill, 2021”, it has been proposed that 50 per cent of the total number of seats to be filled up by direct election in any municipality will be reserved for women.

Such seats will be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality every 10 years, as per the amendment proposed to the Assam Municipal Act, 1956.

“Providing women reservation for a ward for ten years will be an encouragement to women to participate in the democratic process of elections and will enable them to bring sustainability of schemes implemented by the ULBs (urban local bodies),” the bill said.

The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was also introduced during the day.

It seeks to extend the tenure of women reservation for up to 10 years in elections to the civic body.

The proposed amendments to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Act, 1969, also seeks to include strict penal provisions for violations committed under the Act.

It has also sought to give power to the government to increase the number of wards of the GMC as and when required by publication in the official gazette.

Several new sections to the principal Act have also been proposed in the amendment bill, including the introduction of new subjects like acquisition of modern technology, a citizen charter for efficient services for residents of the city and provision for speedy disposal of litigation related to assessment of taxes on property or refusal of trade licences.

In another amendment bill introduced by Singhal, it has been proposed that the state government can appoint the chief engineer of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).

The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021, seeks to widen the scope for selection of the GMDA chief engineer.

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