Sixth Schedule amendment: Meghalaya CM meets CEMs of all three ADCs

Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday held a meeting with the chief executive members (CEMs) of the three autonomous district councils (ADCs) of the state to discuss the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and the suggestions of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The Constitution (125th Amendment) Bill seeks to amend provisions related to the Finance Commission and the Sixth Schedule of Constitution, which relates to the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It seeks to increase executive and financial powers of the ADCs in the Sixth Schedule areas of the region.

Following the meeting with CEMs of the three ADCs — Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) — Sangma said: “The CEMs will submit their recommendations in the next one week and finalise them,” he added.

According to Sangma, some of the issues that were discussed at length in the meeting included the ‘unrepresented tribes’ for nomination in the ADCs, number of seats and the elections to be held at different levels.

Sangma added that they will have a final meeting on August 25 evening to crystalise on the recommendations from the state government. These will then be submitted to the Centre, he said.

According to KHADC CEM Titosstar Chyne, the proposed amendment has been delayed for almost a year after the Standing Committee recommended it to Parliament.

“So, now we are just discussing and reviewing the same suggestions which we had made,” said Chyne.

Chyne added that this was the first meeting after the report was submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

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Asked if he was satisfied with the progress, Chyne said: “I don’t know what is the delay though I know that it is not from the state government but from the Centre. The last meeting between the state government and the Centre was held on July 5, and they were supposed to send their comments on August 25.”

The CEM, however, noted that the delay was partly due to the prevailing situation amid the COVID-19 pandemic but hoped that the committee would be able to send the recommendations to the Union ministry of home affairs by August 31.

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