Monday, November 29, 1999

Elected members to have more say in NDMC

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New Delhi, June 17 (PTI) Elected members of New Delhi area can have more say in the council governing its affairs, according to amendments approved by the Union Cabinet today. The amendments to the New Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994 relate to changes in the composition of the council by making the MP of the area as its member with voting right and provide for increasing the number of members from 11 to 12. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the New Delhi Municipal Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010 will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament. The Bill also provides for increasing the number of representatives belonging to the scheduled castes from the current one to two. According to the amendment bill, a Chief Minister, if representing the NDMC area, will chair the meetings of the council. Alternately, an MP of the area, if a minister, will chair the meetings. If the MP representing the area is not a minister then the MLA, if holding a ministerial position, will chair. Failing all the three, the area MP will preside over the meetings and if none of them is available, then the chairman of the council will preside over the meetings. In the present set up, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will chair the NDMC meetings and in her absence Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken will preside over the meetings. Currently, NDMC meetings are chaired by the chairman of the council. "It has been found that elected members do not attend NDMC meetings due to protocol issues. The approval will ensure greater participation of weaker sections of the society and people''s representatives in the decision making process of the NDMC," Soni said. She said the Bill also proposes to reduce the number of MLAs as members of the council, from three to two as there are only two such assembly constituencies whose area fully or partly fall in the New Delhi area. As per the amendments, the council will also have three women members and two nominated members. Soni said an increase is "proposed in the number of members from amongst the prescribed fields, nominated by the Central Government in consultation with the Delhi Chief Minister, from two to four." Lutyens'' Delhi and surrounding areas fall under NDMC''s jurisdiction.

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