Place SEZs under full jurisdiction of local bodies : ARC

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New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has recommened that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) be placed under the full jurisdiction of concerned local bodies for enforcement of local civic laws.

''Clearly, no islands can exist within the country outside the jurisdiction of constitutionally-elected government. Therefore, SEZ must be in conformity with the laws and rules relating to local governments,'' the ARC said its sixth report on local governance.

The report, presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here today, made various other suggestions including provision for constitution of Legislative Councils in each state, abolishing of octroi, setting up of a Uniform Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) in all cities of more than one million population and developing of at least 25-30 world class mega cities in the country.

Releasing the report at a press conference here today, ARC Chairman Veerappa Moily said the report focusses on various core principles for democratic de-centralisation. These include clear delineation of functions of various spheres of the government, effective devolution of functions and powers, convergence in terms of ending rural-urban divide, key role for citizens and stake holders in decision making.

Calling for a citizen-centric administration, Mr Moily said the government should place before Parliament a Framework Law for local bodies on the lines of South African Act for laying down the broad principles of devolution of power, responsibilities and functions to the local bodies.

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