Mizoram assembly passes SHC Bill

Newmai News Network

Aizawl | June 27

The Mizoram State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed the Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) Bill after a prolonged deliberation involving at least 14 members including house leader and Chief Minister, Lal Thanhawla.


Formation of the proposed Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) is the result of the peace accord signed between the State government of Mizoram and the Hmar People’s Convention –Democratic (HPC-D) on April 2, 2018 to replace the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC), which came into existence in 1997 as a result of the peace accord between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in July 1994.


Mizoram Home minister, R Lalzirliana who introduced the Bill said it envisages establishment of an authority in the name of the SHC, which would be accorded more autonomy than the earlier SHDC. He also said that the council shall be within the “framework of the constitution”. The Mizoram Home minister then expressed his gratitude to the Hmar militants for extending support to the government towards establishing “peace and tranquility” in the State by giving up arms. He further said peace talks between the State government and the HPC (D) were held under “mutual trust and understanding”. He also stated that the State government is committed to implement the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) as earliest as possible.


According to Mizoram Home minister, as envisage in the Bill, an interim council will be formed for six months after which “formal” elections will be conducted. He added that the government has already approved appointment of council members proposed by the HPC(D).


The proposed SHC will have a general council and an executive council. The general council will consist of 14 members of which 12 will be directly elected and 2 will be nominated by the government. The term of office of the general council will be five years. The council will be headed by Chief Executive Member (CEM). Besides, it will have chairman, deputy chairman and four executive members (EM) to be nominated by CEM.


The Bill also envisages establishment of council headquarter at Sakawrdai village in Aizawl district or any place within the council area. There shall be a secretariat at the headquarters, which will be headed by a secretary.


Among others, the council will have an executive power to formulate plans, schemes, prepare its own budget, make bye-laws and rules and power to impose, levy and collect taxes within the council area.


There will be 12 constituencies in the council area for electing members to the general council, and that, the council will receive fund directly from the State government.


It may be recalled here that, three years after a deadlock in 2013, the Mizoram government and HPC(D) revived peace talks in August, 2016 which culminated in the signing of the MoS on April 2, 2018. Altogether 114 HPC(D) leaders and cadres laid down arms in a programme christened as “home coming ceremony” held on April 13, 2018 at the Central Training Institute at Sesawng village near Aizawl.