The Lok Sabha, on Wednesday, passed a Bill seeking to merge Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories), Bill, 2019 was passed after a reply by Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy. The move to merge the territories came three months after Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh during the abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir.
Reddy, while talking about the issue, said that the two Union Territories were being merged for better administration and to prevent duplication of work. He further stated that the representation of the two UTs in the Lok Sabha will not change after the merger. The Bill seeks to amend the First Schedule of Constitution. After the amendment, the merged territory is expected to form the UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. At present each UT has one seat in Lok Sabha and the Bill provides for the allocation of two Lok Sabha seats to the merged UT.
The statement of objects and reasons for the Bill, while justifying the proposed amendment, says that having two separate constitutional and administrative entities in both the Union Territories leads to a lot of duplication, inefficiency and wasteful expenditure. It further explains that the separate entities cause an unnecessary financial burden on the government. According to media reports, the merged Union Territory is expected to be named as Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu. Further, it is likely that its headquarters could be Daman and Diu.
"In view of the policy of the government to have 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance', considering small population and limited geographical area of both the Union Territories and to use the services of officers efficiently, it has been decided to merge the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single union territory," it said.
(With ANI inputs)