PANJIM: A day after claiming ignorance over the proposed amendments to the Code of Comunidades, Revenue Minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate justified the alteration, which according to him was necessary to keep pace with time.
Monserrate, however, said that the amendments are unlikely to be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of the State Legislative Assembly, as the same is yet to be finalized.
Under Secretary (Revenue - I) Girish Sawant had on May 27, circulated a draft of the amendments to the Administrators of Comunidades of North, South and Central, seeking feedback or consultation with the managing committees of various Comunidades before submitting it for the government approval.
The amendments, which are most likely to be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon Session, seek to alter six articles of the Code of Comunidades, besides inserting a new article which enables the “grant of land for public projects” to the State government.
Speaking to media persons, Monserrate said that the amendments are needed as they will help to bring in the necessary changes to the code which are needed to keep pace with time. “The process to amend the Code of Comunidades is going on for some time. Nothing has been finalized so far. We have sought suggestion from the Comunidade bodies,” he said.
Pointing to the amendment, wherein widows, unmarried daughters and orphans are granted rights to receive loans, the Minister said that the move is basically to give the right to women to become a member for the very first time, which will help in doing away with the gender discrimination prevailing in the Code. “So far only the male child is entitled …we are trying to bring in equality,” he said.
The amendment has given powers to the government to procure or acquire land for government projects with the consent of the Managing Committee and also to acquire land up to 5000 sq metres for public projects without the consent of Comunidade.
It also seeks to amend various provisions whereby making provisions for debarring the members of Comunidade from contesting elections if they are encroachers in the Comunidade land and provide powers to the government to make rules governing the conduct of election of Managing Committee if the act of the committee is found to be against the interest of Comunidade.
It also proposes to give more powers to the Administrator of Comunidades to take action against encroachment and to regularise the encroachment on government land- the date from which is yet to be finalised.