Indian Polity: Panchayat and Municipality

Panchayat:

The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 has added a new Part IX consisting of 16 Articles and the Eleventh Schedule to the Constitution. The 73rd Amendment Act envisages the Gram Sabha as the foundation of the Panchayati Raj System to perform functions and powers entrusted to it by the State legislatures.

  • The amendment provide for a three tier Panchayati Raj System at the village,intermediate and district levels. Small states with population below twenty lakh have been given the option not to constitute the Panchayats at the intermediate level.
  • The Act provides that the Panchayat bodies will have an assured duration of five years, with elections mandatory after this period

Article 243 A to Article 273 P (Panchayati raj in India):

  1. Indian panchayati raj system is three tier  consist of  Village panchayat  at the lowest level which is headed by “Sarpanch” , middle level i.e, Block level  which is headed by Block development committee and District level which is headed by district development committee.
  2. According to Article 243E every Panchayat, unless sooner dissolved under any law for the time being inforce, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting.
  3. Powers to impose taxes  by Panchayats if permitted by legislative assembly.
  4. Article 243-I provides for the establishment of a Finance Commission for reviewing financial position of the Panchayats.
  5. Under Article 243K the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of all elections to the Panchayats shall be vested in a State Election Commission consisting of the State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor.

Municipality:

The NarsimhaRao Government introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill pertaining to urban local bodies in the LokSabha on September 16, 1991.

  • The Bill was passed by both the Houses in December 1992. It received the assent of the President on April 20, 1993 and was published in the gazette on the same day as the Constitution 74th Amendment Act, 1992.

Article 243 Q to Article 243ZG (Municipality System in India):

  • Municipality system in India consist of Nagar panchayat (which is in transition from rural to urban area), Municipal Council(Small urban area) and Municipal Corporation(Large Urban Area).
  • There shall be constituted Wards Committees, consisting of one or more wards, within the territorial area of a Municipality having a population of three lakh or more.
  • Every Municipality, unless sooner dissolved under any law for the time being in force, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer.
  • Power to impose taxes.
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