Local Government and Panchayat Raj System

Indian Polity Notes | Local Government and Panchayat Raj System
Panchayats 243-243(O) | Municipalities 243(P)-243(ZG)

The purpose of local government is democratic is to decentralization and ensure a participatory democracy. Constitutionally local government comes under the State list

Lord Rippon’s resolution of 1882 is known as Magna carta and he is also known as father of local Government

Background of Local government in India

In 1907, A royal commission was appointed under the chairmanship of Leonard Hobhouse to consider the structure and composition of local government’s

In 1935 Act, the local government was given to States. After the commencement of Indian constitution, Article 40 the Directive principle of state policies of Part IV says, establishment of Gram Panchayats

Article 40 of Indian constitution: Organization of Village Panchayats

Communities for Local Government/Panchayat Raj systems  

a) In 1952, Central government launched 1st development program i.e., Community development program(CDP)

b) In 1953, NEP was launched (NEP- National extension program) 

c) In 1957, Balavantarai Meheta committee was appointed to examine the working of NEP and CDP

This committee recommended introduction of 3 tier system

i) 1st tier – Grama Panchayat

ii) 2nd tier – Mandal Panchayat

iii) 3rd tier – Zilla Panchayat

Note: Rajasthan was 1st state to implement 3 tier Panchayat Raj institution in 1959, Oct 2 at Nagpur district and Andhra Pradesh is 2nd state to launched 3 tier system in 1959, 1st Nov at Palamuru

d) In 1977, Janta Party appointed Ashok Mehta committee to examine the 3-tier system as recommended by Balvantrai Mehta

Ashoka Mehta recommended for 2-tier system and also recommended to abolished of Grama Pamchayat. However the recommendations of Ashoka Mehra commission were not implemented after down fall of Janta Party

Note: Ashoka Mehta recommended Mandal system 

e) In 1985, G.V.K Rao committee appointed to recommend the eradication of rural poverty

This committee observed that Panchayat Rai institutions has to ensue grass roots democracy instead of that it is grass without roots. He recommended, reducing the role bureaucracy in Panchayat Rai institution. 

f) In 1986, L M Singhvi Committee was appointed. This committee recommended constitutional status to Panchayat Rai

According 64th and 65th Amendments were proposed in 1989 but these amendments were defeated because State governments opposed such a move into local bodies

In 1992 when P.V. Narsingha was Prime Minister, 73rd and 74th amendments were introduce and approved but came into force in 1993, April 24

Note: April 24th – Panchayat Rai Day

73rd Amendment of Indian Constitution: Deals with Panchayat Rai institution in Part IV, Article 243(A) to 243(O)

74th Amendment of Indian Constitution: Deals with Urban local government, Part IX A, Article 243(P) to 243(ZG)

Salient features of New Panchayat Rai system and Nagara Palikas

3 tier system is to be continued in both rural and urban areas

1st tier- Nagara Panchayat

2nd tier- Municipality

3rd tier – Corporation

However, the 3rd tier system is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir and to the state having less than 20 lakhs population. 

Note: All the representatives are elected directly by the voters

Sarpanch Head of Grama Panchayat is elected according to the procedure decided by the State government

Example: In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – Its a direct election and in Karnataka – It is indirect election

In the intermediate district level, heads are elected in district level. Heads are elected indirectly which is common to all states

In Urban local government- All heads in the 3 stages are elected according to the procedure made by sate government

The min age is to contest in all local government elections is 21 yrs. Reservation are provided to SC/ST according to their populations. Reservation were also provided for BC’s according to the percentage decided by State government

Apart from above reservations, women’s reservation – 1/3 or 33.33%. At present 50%  reservation available for women

Article 243(K) of Indian Constitution: Elections to the Panchayats

This article says that, there shall be State election commission which is constitutional body appointed by Governor for the term of 5 yrs

Note: State election commission members removal same like that of Judges of High court

Article 243(I) of Indian Constitution: Constitution of finance commission to review financial position 

This Article deals with State Finance commission. 

Governor constitutes state Finance commission for every 5 yrs, which is a constitutional body. It makes division of revenues between State and Local bodies

The state legislative is empowered to make extra or additional conditions, Qualifications, Modification without disturbing the spirit of 73rd and 74th amendment

Example: In Andhra pradesh there is condition that the candidates should have not more than 2 children’s after 1996 to contest in local bodies

Structure of 3 Tiers Local Government

1st Tier- Grama Panchayat

A village having 300 to 500 minimum population is constituted as Gram panchayat

Grama Panchayat

a) Gram Sabha Article 243(A)

Article 243(A) of Indian Constitution: Gram Sabha

This Article say that, Gram Sabha is non elective body consisting of registered voters of particular village. Grama Sabha is an advisory body regarding the functions of Gram Panchayat

Note: Gram Sabha as to held meetings at least once in every 4 months

b) Ward member: Panchayat members

Minimum wards for Gram Panchayat are 5 and maximum 16

c) Sarpanch: 

Sarpanch is directly elected on non political manner. He cannot be removed by no confident motion

Note: Collector or Panchayat Rai commissioner can dismiss Sarpanch on the ground of corruption and misuse of Office

Sarpanch presides over Gram Panchayat

d) Upa Sarpanch:

Upa Sarpanch is elected by ward members along the members. He can be removed by No confidence motion

e) Co-opted Members:

Some co opted members may present. 

Note: Co-opted members from minority community

f) Panchayat Rai Executive officer grade II

He arranges the meeting of Grama Panchayat and prepares the resolutions in the panchayat

Function of Gram Panchayat

Article 243(G) of Indian Constitution: Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayat 

This Article deals with 29 matter/functions to Gram Panchayat

Providing the civic amenities to the people like drinking water, sanitation, Public health, Local roads, street lights and agriculture, sericulture, cooperative sector, cotton industries, women and child welfare, environment, ecology, mining

These duties/functions are to be divulged by State government to Local bodies

Taxes/Revenue to Local bodies

Centre and State grants are most important source to Local bodies, apart from these grants local taxes like

a) Property tax

b) Professional tax

c) Entertainment tax

d) Octrai tax

e) Toll tax

f) Market cess

g) Tax on Ads and holdings

h) Share from land revenue, commercial tax and excise duty adds revenue to Local bodies

2nd Tier – Mandal parishath

Population 20,000 to 30,000 will be basis for Mandal parishath

1) MPTC: Mandal Prashanth territorial constituency

Its a combination of 6-7 Gram Panchayat. MPTC members are directly elected by the votes(directly by party basis)

2) MPP (Mandal parishath President)

3) MPVP (Mandal parishath Vice President)

Mandal parishath President(MPP) and Mandal parishath vice President(MPVP) are elected indirectly by MPTC members i e., MPP and MPVP can be removal on the basis of No confidence motion

4) All local MLA’s, MLC’s, are ex-offico members of Mandal parishath and they also have right to vote

5) District collector and the chairman of district cooperative bank and district market yard chairman and ZPTC member are permanent invitees without right to vote

6) One or two co-opted members

7) MPDO – Mandal parishath development officer

Mandal parishath’s doesn’t impose any taxes. It is only implementing body,  namely all the rural development programs and primary & upper primary education

 3rd Tier- Zilla Prashad

District as a unit, Zilla Parishad is constituted

a) ZPTC- Zilla Parishad territorial constituency

b) Zilla Parishad Chariman

c) Zilla Parishad Vice chairman

d) MLA, MP’s  as Ex-officio members

e) District collector, District library committee chairman, District marketing committee chairman , DCCB chairman and all Mandal Parishad president are Permanent invitees in the ZPTC

f) co-opted members

g) Government officers (CEO- Chief Executive Officer | Group I or IAS)

Major functions of Zilla Parishad is planning and development. The function of urban local government are mention in Article 243(W) in the 12th schedule

Article 243(W) of Indian Constitution: Powers, authority and responsibilities of municipalities etc

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