Terming as "historic" the Cabinet's decision to enhance reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Union Minister for Rural Development CP Joshi on Thursday said the government fulfilled it's promise and will further stand by it.
"Government of India has taken a historical decision today by approving the proposal to increase reservation for women to 50 per cent in Panchayati Raj Institutions...We fulfilled our promise. We will stand by it," Joshi told reporters in New Delhi.
Union Cabinet passed the proposal for moving a Constitutional Bill for enhancing reservation for women in PRIs "at all tiers" from one third to 50 per cent, he said.
"This will be applicable to the total number of seats including offices of chairpersons and offices of chairpersons reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, filled by direct elections in Panchayats," he added.
Joshi said the reservation for women in these institutions will empower women entering the public sphere and will also make Panchayats more "inclusive institutions".
He said President Pratibha Patil's announcement of the 100-days agenda of the government in June had mentioned the intent to provide fifty percent reservation for women in Panchayats.
"We have done it and will move the Bill for amendment in Parliament," Joshi said.