To ensure better demographic representation to SC, ST

An official amendment will be moved to the Constitution (One hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill 2009 for enhancing reservation for women in panchayats in all tiers from 33 to 50 per cent to ensure better demographic representation to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday decided to make an official amendment, already under consideration of the Lok Sabha.

It accepted the suggestion of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development to add the term “rural” before “population” to reflect an appropriate demographic representation of the categories for whom the reservation is made.

The need for the amendment, which will be moved in the Lok Sabha at the earliest, was felt as the proportion of the SCs and the STs in rural areas differed from their proportion to the State population.

The monsoon session of Parliament begins on August 1.