Orissa reserves 50% seats

Bhubaneswar, Feb 11 (PTI) In a bid to increase womenrepresentation in grass root level politics, Orissa governmenttoday decided to reserve 50 per cent of seats and posts forwomen in the three-tire panchayati raj institutions.

This was decided at the cabinet meeting here chairedby Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. "The cabinet has decided toincrease the women reservation quota to not less than 50 percent from the existing 33 per cent in the three tirepanchayati raj system," said chief secretary B K Patnaik.

The decision would be implemented in the state in thepanchayat elections in February-March, 2012. "The reservationfor women will not be just 50 per cent, it should be not lessthan 50 per cent," Tripathy said.

Orissa had been the first state in the country toreserve one-third of the seats in panchayati raj systemearlier, panchayati raj secretary S N Tripathy.

However, several states had increased the women quotain panchayati raj system before it is done by Orissa.

In another decision, the government also extendedtenure of rotation of posts categories in the panchayatsystem. "A seat reserved for women, ST, SC or OBC will bechanged after two terms instead of one term," Tripathy said.

The government also gave the power to gram panchayatsto levy tax on properties in their respective jurisdictions.

However, the gram panchayat tax could not be imposed on BPLfamilies.

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