Part 7: State Governments

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Article 7.1 State Governance
Each state shall have a state parliament consisting of two houses, a state assembly and a state council of stakeholders. It will have an elected chief executive called state governor, a deputy chief executive called deputy state governor and a head of state judiciary called chief justice of the state. The state bureaucracy will be accountable to the people of the state.
 
Article 7.2 Control over Resources and Functions
State governments will control resources to handle state level infrastructure such as state level armed police, highways, water systems, state-grid power generation and distribution, industry, minerals, higher education, referral hospitals and heritage sites. It will be accountable to the people of the state through effective transparency laws covering the sovereign rights of the people to information, consultation, participation and referendum.
 
The state governments will ordinarily not be dependent upon the national government for support. Based on the principles laid down in Part 7 of the Constitution dealing with Resource Management, a part of the revenue from identified environmental resources and some sources of taxation and/or share in tax revenue shall be assigned to state governments. This is to enable them to provide (1) state level infrastructure, (2) support to local entities with inadequate resources, and (3) coordination, but not interfere in local jurisdictions.
 
Article 7.3 State Parliaments
The state parliament (raj sansad) shall consist of a state assembly (raj sabha) and a state council of stakeholders (raj parishad). The state assembly shall consist of members elected from constituencies as delineated from time to time. It will elect a speaker and a deputy speaker to preside over its meetings. It shall have a fixed term of four years. It will have legislative powers on all matters specified in Schedule A. It will approve the budget, and, through its committees, perform various watchdog functions in relation to the executive.
 
Article 7.4 State Council of Stakeholders
The state council of stakeholders (raj parishad) shall be a permanent body moderating decision-making for sustainability. It will have representatives of various interest groups in the state such as disadvantaged communities, farmers, labour unions, small, medium and large industry, women, NGOs and professionals, nominated by their representative organisations through an appropriate electoral process. Half of its members will retire every year, and new members from the same category renominated.
 
Each State Sovereign Rights Commissions shall, through a consultative process, determine the interest groups in a state, the number of seats that shall be assigned to each and how the persons shall be nominated by the interest groups. It shall also determine which half shall retire every year. It shall give effect to the arrangement thus determined, and get it ratified by the people through referendum held along with the next election.
 
The state council of stakeholders will constitute committees for resolving social, environmental, economic and political conflicts. Social and environmental issues will however be largely in local jurisdictions. The state councils shall primarily address inter district/city discords. The state council of stakeholders will have the power to commission consultants to review social, environmental and economic projects and return any bill or project proposal to the elected house for reconsideration or with suggestions for modification. If after reconsideration, the elected house approves the bill or project with or without modification, it will refer it to the state governor for endorsement.
 
Article 7.5 Elected chief executive and his deputy
The state chief executive called state governor (rajyapal) assisted by a deputy state governor (up-rajpal) shall be elected as a team through direct election.
 
Article 7.6 Political appointments
The state chief executive may make political appointments of ministers not exceeding 20, who shall not be legislators, for assisting him in his work. All such appointments shall require approval by a joint committee of the state assembly and council and if rejected, the chief executive shall have to propose another name. Such appointments will terminate on expiry of the term of the state chief executive unless he gets re-elected.
 
Article 7.7 State high courts
Every state, except small states linked with the high court of a neighbouring state, shall have a high court as an appellate authority of district and city courts. The appointments’ authority for independent functionaries of the state shall select the judges of high courts. A joint committee of the state assembly and council shall approve their appointment. The high courts shall draw budget from the state government and will be impeachable by the state parliament. The high courts will thus be accountable to the people of the state. For more details see Part 8 on Judicial System.
 
Article 7.8 Departmental heads
The appointment of all departmental heads including secretaries to government, heads of state level armed police, highways, water systems, power, industry, and heritage sites shall require approval by a joint committee of the state assembly and council as articulated in Part 10 on "Appointed servants of the people". The departmental heads will control the appointment, transfer and discipline of their subordinates, thus protecting them from political pressures and abuse. Such professional autonomy, along with effective transparency mechanisms, will ensure that the state bureaucracy is directly accountable to the people of the state.
 
Article 7.9 Watchdog functions
The two houses will perform watchdog functions over the executive through their various committees. The committees will have the power to call for any information from the political ministers and professional departmental heads and also direct them to appear for personal hearings. The report and recommendations of the committees shall be made public.
 
Article 7.10 State planning
The state government will coordinate the local plans with the state level infrastructure to prepare a state plan. Such scientific regional planning will be an ongoing reiterative participatory process leading to a national plan.

 

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