Municipal Amendment Bill receives Governor’s assent
Kohima, Dec. 28: Governor PB Acharya has, on Wednesday, given his assent to the Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016. The Bill was passed by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on November 24 last amid heated debates on the issue of reservation of 33 percent seats for women in urban local bodies, particularly by various tribal bodies.
The Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016 seeks to amend the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 and despite protests from various quarters, with the Governor giving his assent, the process of formalities involving the amendment of the Act and its enforcement are now official.
The “statement of objects and reasons” contained in the Bill states that after nearly a decade of debate and discussion on women reservation in municipal and town councils, the State Government has finally decided to conduct polls to the municipalities in accordance with the provisions in the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 (including one-third reservation for women). “Some tribal bodies however pointed out some obvious discrepancies in the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 with respect to reservation for SCs and with respect to non-compliance of the Act with Article 371A(1)(a) of the Constitution of India in regard to levy and recovery process of taxes on land and buildings,” the Governor pointed out, and further maintained that amendments have been accordingly proposed to the Act through this Bill.
In the said Bill, the words “Scheduled Castes” and the connected phrases and provisions relating to reservation for scheduled castes, all references and operative provisions relating to “tax on lands and buildings”, and “attachment and sale of a defaulter’s immovable property” are some of the points that will be removed from various sections and sub-sections of the Municipal Act.
Mention may be made here that the State Election Commission has announced on December 21 last that the election to municipal and town councils will be held on February 1, 2017. Filing of nominations will commence from January 3, 2017 while scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on January 10. The list of contesting candidates and polling stations will be notified on January 17 and the counting and declaration of results will be held on February 4.