The Nagaland Assembly on Thursday passed the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023 and retained 33 per cent reservation for women. It was passed after the select committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang presented the report on the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023 in the house.
The development came as several Naga organisations claimed that the reservations for women in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) would go against their community’s customary laws.
In Nagaland, over 95 per cent of the land and its resources belong to the people and the community while the government owns only about 5 per cent of the total area, including reserve forests and roads.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, while participating in the discussion on the Bill, said that it was passed after threadbare consultation with civil society organisations and Naga tribal hohos.
He said that provisions related to taxes, land, and buildings have been excluded in the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023.
Mr Rio also said that the elected body of a particular Municipal or Town Council would decide on taxes or fees in their own jurisdiction.
The provision for one-third reservation of the offices of the Chairperson in the ULB for women, which was there in the earlier Municipal Act, was also not included in the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023.
Earlier, the House had withdrawn the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 by voice vote.
Certain provisions of the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 had led to severe objections by the influential Naga tribal hohos claiming that the provisions infringed on Article 371(A).
It also led to violence causing the death of two youths a few years back when the state government attempted to implement the provisions of the Municipal Act.
Municipal elections in Nagaland were first held in 2004, and the terms of the civic bodies ended in 2009-10.
The state government had tried to hold municipal polls with 33 per cent reservation for the women but the move was objected to by the influential civil society bodies. Since then, no civic body election has been conducted in the northeastern state.