The government has proposed amendments in the Cantonments Act, 2006 by incorporating provisions for imparting, inter-alia, greater democratisation to Cantonment Boards including direct election of Vice-President. This information was given by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today. He said the draft bill is under finalization. The elections to Cantonment Boards are proposed to be held thereafter.

Defence Minister said a framework for cutting out civil areas of certain Cantonments and to merge them with neighbouring State municipalities is under consultation with concerned States. He said this will provide uniformity in local governance and greater ease of living for citizens in the process.

Mr Singh said several suggestions were received from public representatives and general public on the administrative structure of the Cantonment Boards. The suggestions mainly pertain to direct election of Vice-President, empowerment of Civil Area Committee, financial powers to Vice-President, power to vary the constitution of Boards, and power to suspend decisions of the Board.