The Shinde Fadnavis government on Wednesday tabled the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 proposing a minimum of 50 seats and maximum of 75 seats in Zilla Parishads. This will be applicable to the 34 Zilla Parishads in the state. The bill will be taken up for discussion before its passage in the state legislature.
The state cabinet on August 3 scrapped the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s decision taken in November last year to increase the minimum seats to 55 from 50 seats and the maximum seats to 85 from 75 seats in Zilla Parishad by amending the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1961. However, the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who was accompanied by DCM Devendra Fadnavis, approved to revert to earlier system with a minimum 50 of seats and maximum of 75 seats in Zilla Parishad by amending the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1961.
In its justification, the government said, ‘’ The process of transformation of rural areas in the state into urban areas is going on at a fast pace. Also due to the inclusion of rural areas in the areas adjoining municipal corporations and the conversion of some rural areas into urban areas, the actual population of the rural areas is continuously decreasing. It was therefore, considered expedient to specify the minimum and maximum number of councillors on the basis of figures of population as per Census of 2021, after it is completed.’’
‘’It was considered expedient to amend section 9 of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961,suitably to reinstate the number of councillors specified in the said Act prior to the said Amendment Act,’’ it reads.