In a bid to boost participation of women at different political levels in the country, the Punjab cabinet on Tuesday decided to enhance reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) from 33% to 50%.

The meeting was reportedly chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

The cabinet also consented GST Bill to be tabled in the assembly during the upcoming budget session. The enhancement of women reservation quota in all civic bodies was a poll promise of the Congress Party.

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The increase in reserve seats for women in the rural areas for the members of Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads is an effort in the direction of women empowerment.

Similarly, 50% of wards of all Municipal Corporations, Councils and Nagar Panchayats will also be reserved for women.

Besides this, the move also aims at enhancing representation of women in the offices of Sarpanches of Gram Panchayats, Chairperson Panchayats Samitis/Zila Parishads, besides mayors of Municipal Corporations and Presidents of Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats will also be enhanced accordingly.

While Punjab cabinet has taken a monumental step in ensuring that women have a greater say in the functioning of the state government, the bill that proposes 33 percent of seats for women in the Assembly and Parliamentary elections for women is still pending.

Rajya Sabha already passed the bill to Lok Sabha in 2010, it still has a pending status in the “Lok Sabha”.

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