By- Correspondent | Date- June 30, 2011
The Government of India has is all set for amending the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. This is being done to bring more accountability to the Autonomous Councils formed under the Schedule.
The Union Home Secretary, GK Pillai has confirmed that the Centre has already held several rounds of discussions in this regard with the concerned State Governments. In addition, draft legislation for amending the Sixth Schedule has been prepared, which is already sent to the concerned states for their review and recommendations. The centre is hoping to have the final draft amended during the winter session of the Parliament.
The main aim of the proposed amendment is to make the Councils formed under the Sixth Schedule more accountable. As per the draft, the accounts of the Councils would now be audited by the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) every year. In addition, there will be provision for formation of village councils under the Autonomous Councils for decentralization of powers to the grass root level. After this amendment of the Sixth Schedule, auditing of the accounts would become a statutory provision. This is expected to ensure regular auditing of the accounts.
It is understood that the move for amending the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution started after huge 10,000 crore scam of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council came to light through investigations by National Investigation Agency (NIA). The accounts of the NC Hills Councils as well as the other Autonomous Councils were never audited regularly because of lack of statutory provisions. In fact until the NC Hills scam, there was absolute lack of transparency and no one knew what was going on.