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Direct funding of Tripura tribal council rejected

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, March 10 - The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) will be renamed as the Twipra Territorial Council. However, there will be no direct funding of the council by the Centre as the Finance Commission has rejected the proposal.

The number of seats in the TTAADC will be raised from the present 30 to 50, out of which 44 will be elective and six will be nominated by the Government on the recommendation of the State Government, according to the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs led by Rajya Sabha member Ananda Sharma.

Besides, an equivalent of a three-tier panchayat structure will also be put in place in the council areas. The panel held detailed discussions with office-bearers and members of all autonomous district councils in the North East and prepared recommendations to the Home Ministry for placement in the Parliament, that will pave the way for implementation of the recommendations for empowerment of autonomous councils. The Constitution Amendment Bill in this regard is likely to be passed in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament.

What, however, is likely to prove a hurdle in the proposed amendment to the Constitution is the denial of the demand for direct funding of the autonomous councils.

The panel said direct funding would create a lot of complications and require major amendments to Articles 275-280 of the Constitution. A dilution of the State�s powers and authority, as envisaged in the Constitution, may also occur in the event of the enactment of the provision for direct funding, sources said.

Instead, a provision for �earmarked funding� meant for autonomous councils may be made as part of an executive decision . Apart from this, the Parliamentary committee has also recommended that the State Government be directed to consider the matter of increasing seats in the tribal council and take the opinion of the autonomous council authority.

In 2018, IPFT leaders had met the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and submitted a memorandum on empowerment of the Tripura autonomous council. The matter was pursued even after Amit Shah became the Union Home Minister and progress was made through the constitution of the Parliamentary committee.

Now the recommendations of the Parliamentary committee will be incorporated into the Constitution amendment proposal and converted into an Act.

When contacted, East Tripura Lok Sabha member Rebati Tripura confirmed the submission of recommendations by the Parliamentary Committee, but declined to make any further comments.

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