Punjab passes bill to reserve 50 percent seats for women in panchayati raj institutions

Chandigarh: The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed bills amending provisions to clear way for 50 percent reservation for women in panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and municipal bodies.

The Punjab Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill and the Punjab Municipal (Amendment) Bill were moved by the Ministers concerned - Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Higher Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary said this was another step taken by the Congress government towards empowering women.

File image of Amarinder Singh and other Punjab Congress members. PTI

File image of Amarinder Singh and other Punjab Congress members. PTI

Recently, the Punjab Cabinet had given its go-ahead for an increase in women reservation in panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies (ULBs) from 33 percent to 50 percent.

The amendment will help empower women in rural areas by enhancing their reservation quota in the direct elections for gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zila parishads, besides municipal corporations, municipal councils and nagar panchayats.

Representation of women in the offices of sarpanches of gram panchayats, chairpersons of panchayats samitis and zila parishads besides mayors of municipal corporations and chief of municipal councils and nagar panchayats will also be enhanced accordingly.

In all, 11 bills were passed on the concluding day of the budget session.

The Assembly also passed the Punjab Cooperative Societies (amendment) Bill, which scraps 'kurki', a practise under which mortgaged land is auctioned to recover loans.

MLAs from opposition SAD-BJP and the AAP were not present at the time the bills were passed as they had walked out of the Assembly during the Question Hour to protest the "denigration of Sikh principles" yesterday when some members were forcibly evicted from the House.

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017 11:26 AM

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