Panchayati Raj

Panchayati Raj is an important segment of the polity syllabus of the IAS exam. Given below is a brief about the Panchayati Raj for the civil services exam.

Panchayati Raj is the system of local self government for villages. Because Panchayats are an effective vehicle for people’s participation in administration, planning and democratic process, organisation of village Panchayats has been made a Directive Principle of State Policy (Article 40). Rural India has seen such Panchayats for ages. The new Panchayats are an improvement over the old ones in uniformity, institutional structure and states support. The present day Panchayati Raj system was introduced in 1959 on the recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee. The committee had been set up in 1956 primarily to suggest measures for improvement in the working of the Community Development Programme and the National Extension Service which were being implemented at that time. It recommended a three-tier Panchayati Raj system for proper implementation of the Community Development Council and the Union Government accepted the recommendations of the committee but gave the responsibility of implementing them to the states Governments. For one reason or the other, the implementation was slow and unsatisfactory.

Major Committees on Panchayati Raj Institutions

Balwant Rai Committee In January 1957, the Government of India appointed a committee to examine the working of the Community Development Programme (1952) and’-the National Extension Service (1953) and to suggest measures for their better working. The chairman of this committee was Balwant Rai G Mehta. The committee submit-tea Its report III November 19057 and recommended the establishment of the scheme of democratic decentralization, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj. The specific recommendations made by it are:1. Establishment of a three-tier panchayati raj system-gram panchayat at the village level, panchayat samiti at the block level and zila parishad at the district level. These tiers should be organically linked through a device of indirect elections. 2. The village panchayat should be constituted with directly elected representatives, whereas the panchayat samiti and zila parishad should be constituted with indirectly elected members. 3. All planning and development activities should be entrusted to these bodies. 4. The panchayat samiti should be the executive body while the zila parishad should be the advisory, coordinating and supervisory body. 5. The district collector should be the chairman of the zila parishad. 6. There should be a genuine transfer of power and responsibility to these democratic bodies. 7. Adequate resources should be transferred to these bodies to enable them to discharge their functions and fulfil their responsibilities. 8. A system should be evolved to effect further devolution of authority in future. These recommendations of the committee were accepted by the National Development Council in January 1958. The council did not insist on a single rigid pattern and left it to the states to evolve their own patterns suitable to local conditions. But the basic principles and broad fundamentals should be identical throughout the country. Raiasthan was the first state to establish Pahchayati Raj. The scheme was inaugurated by the prime minister on 2 October, 1959,ln Nagaur district. Rajasthan was followed by Andhra Pradesh, which also adopted the system in 1959. Thereafter, most of the states adopted the system. Though most of the states created panchayati raj institutions by mid 1960s, there were differences from one state to another with regard to the number of tiers, relative position of samiti and parishad, their tenure, composition, functions, finances and so on.

Ashok Mehta Committee

In December 1977, the Janata Government appointed a committee on panchayati raj institutions under the chairmanship of Ashok Mehta. It submitted its report in August 1978 and made 132 recommendations to revive and strengthen the declining panchayati raj system in the country. Its main recommendations were: 1. The three-tier system of panchayati raj should be replaced by the two-tier sys-tem, that is, zila parishad at the district level, and below it, the mandaI panchayat consisting of a group of villages with a total population of 15,000 to 20,000. 2. A district should be the first point for decentralisation under popular supervision below the state level. 3. Zila parishad should be the executive body and made responsible for planning at the district level. 4. There should be an official participation of political parties at all levels of panchayat elections. 5. The panchayati raj institutions should have compulsory powers of taxation to mobilise their own financial resources. 6. There should be a regular social audit by a district level agency and by a committee of legislators to check whether the funds allotted for the vulnerable social and economic groups are actually spent on them. 7. The state government should not supersede the panchayati raj institutions. In case of an imperative supersession, elections should be held within six months from the date of supersession. 8. The nyaya panchayats should be kept as separate bodies from that of development panchayats. They should be presided over by a qualified judge. 9. The chief electoral officer of a state in consultation with the chief election com-missioner should organise and conduct the panchayati raj elections. 10. Development functions should be transferred to the zila parishad and all development staff should work under its control and supervision. 11. The voluntary agencies should play an important role in mobilising the support of the people for panchayati raj. 12. A minister for panchayati raj should be appointed in the state council of ministers to look after the affairs of the panchayati raj institutions. 13. Seats for SCs and STs should be reserved I on the basis of their population. Due to the collapse of the Janata Government before the completion of its term, no action could be taken on the recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee at the central level. However, the three states of Karnataka,

G V K Rao and L M Singhvi Committees

The Committee on Administrative Arrangement for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation Programmes under the chairmanship of G V K Rao was appointed by the Planning Commission in 1985. The committee came to the conclusion that the development process was gradually bureaucratised and divorced from panchayati raj. This phenomena of bureaucratisation of development administration as again democratisation weakened the panchayati raj / institutions resulting in what is aptly called grass without roots’. Hence the committee made various recommendations to strengthen and revitalise the panchayati raj system. It as-signed a leading role to panchayati raj in development administration and recommended reduction in the development role of the district collector. In 1986, the Rajiv Gandhi Government appointed a committee on ‘Revitalisation of panchayati raj institutions for democracy and development’ under the chairmanship of L M Singhvi. It recommended that the panchayati raj institutions should be constitutionally recognised, protected and preserved, and that a new chapter be added to the Constitution of India for this purpose. This will make their identity and integrity reasonably and substantially inviolate. It also suggested constitutional provisions to ensure regular, free and fair elections to the panchayati raj bodies. Narasimha Rao Government the Congress Government under the prime ministership of P V Narasimha Rao once again considered the matter of the constitutionalisation of panchayati raj bodies. It drastically modified the proposals in this regard to delete the controversial aspects and introduced a constitutional amendment bill in the Lok Sabha in September, 1991. This bill finally emerged as the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 and came into force on 24 April, 1993.

73rd Amendment Act of 1992 Significance of the Act This act has added a new Part-IX to the Constitution of India. It is entitled as ‘The Panchayats’ and consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 o. In addition, the act has also added a new Eleventh. Schedule to the Constitution. It contains 29 functional items of the panchayats. The act has given a practical shape to Article 40 of the Constitution which says that, ‘The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government’. This article forms a part of the Directive Prin-ciples of State Policy. The act gives a constitutional status to the panchayati raj institutions. It has brought them under the purview of the justiciable part of the Constitution. In other words, the state governments are under constitutional obligation to adopt the new panchayati raj system in accor-dance with the provisions of the act. Consequently, neither the formation of panchayats nor the holding of elections at regular intervals depend on the will of the state government any more. The provisions of the act can be grouped into two categories-compulsory and voluntary. The compulsory (mandatory or obligatory) provisions of the act have to be included in the state laws creating the new panchayati raj sys-tem. The voluntary provisions, on the other hand, may be included at the direction of the states. Thus the voluntary provisions of the act ensures the right of the states to take local factors like geographical, politico-administrative and others, into consideration while adopting the new panchayati raj system. In other words the act does not disturb the constitutional balance between the Centre and the states in the Indian federal system. Though it is a central law on a state subject (i.e., local government), the act does not encroach upon the jurisdiction of the states, which are given adequate discretionary powers with regard to the panchayats. The act is a significant landmark in the evolution of grassroot democratic institutions in the country. It transfers the representative democracy into participatory democracy. It is a revolutionary concept to build democracy at the grassroot level in the country. Majors Features of The Act A brief description of the 73rd constitution Amendment act and its major features has been outlined below: Gram Sabha A Gram Sabha may exercise such powers and perform such functions at the village level as the Legislative of a State may, by law, pro-vide. (Article 243A) Constitution of Panchayats (1) There shall be constituted in every state, Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels. (2) Panchayats at the inter-mediate level may not be constituted in a state having a population not exceeding twenty lakh.(Article 243B) Composition of Panchayats (1) The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions with respect to the composition of Panchayats. But the ratio between the population of the territorial area of a Panchayat at any level and the number of seats in such Panchayat to be filled by election shall, as far as practicable, be the same throughout the state. (2) All the seats in a Panchayat shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from territorial consti-tuencies in the Panchayat area. Each Panchayat area shall be divided into territorial constituencies in such a manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and. the number of seats allotted to if shall, as far as practicable, be the same throughout the Panchayat area. (3) The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide for the representation- (a) of the chairpersons of the Panchayats at the village level, in the Panchayats at the inter-mediate level, or in the case of a state not having Panchayats at the intermediate level, in the Panchayats at the district level. (b) of the chairpersons of the Pan-chayats at the intermediate level, in the Panchayats at the district level. (c) of the members of the House of the People and members of the Legislative Assembly of the state representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly a Panchayat area at a level other than the village level, in such panchayat; (d) of the members of the council of States and the members of the Legislative Council of the State, where they are registered as electors within- (i) a Panchayat area at the intermediate level, in Panchayat at the intermediate level; (ii) a Panchayat area at the district level, in Panchayat at the district level. (4) The chairperson of a Panchayat and other members of a Panchayat whether or not chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area shall have the right to vote in the meetings of the Panchayats. (5) (a) The chairperson of a Panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner as the Legislature of a state may, by law provide. (b) The chairperson of a Panchayat at the intermediate level or district level shall be elected by, and from amongst the elected members thereof. (Article 243C) Reservation of Seats (1) Seats shall be reserved for-(a) the Scheduled Castes; and (b) the Scheduled Tribes; in every Panchayat and the number of seats. So reserved shall been the same proportion to the total number of seats as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that Panchayat area or of the Scheduled Tribes in that Panchayat area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat. (2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (l) shall be reserved for women belonging to Scheduled Castes or, as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes. (3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribe/of the total number of seats to  be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat. (4) The offices of the chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved as the Legislature of the State may pro-vide which shall be like the provisions of clause (3). (5) The reservation of seats under clauses (I) and (2) and the reservation Of offices of chairpersons (other than the reservation for women) under clause (4) shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period specified in article 334. (6) The Legislature of a State may provide for reservation of seats in any Panchayat or offices of chair-persons in the Panchayat at any level in favour of backward class of citizens. (Article 243D) Duration of Panchayats (1)  Every Panchayat 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. (2) No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the effect of causing dissolution of Panchayat at any level, which is functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of its duration specified in clause (I). (3) An election to constitute a Panchayat shall be completed- (a) before the expiry of its duration specified in clause (b) before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution. If the remainder period after dissolution is less than six months, it shaIl not be necessary to hold any election for the remaining period. (4) A Panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a Panchayat before the expiry of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period. Disqualifications for membership (1) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as a member of a Panchayat- (a) If he is so disqualified by or under any law for the time being in force for the purpose of elections to the Legislature of the State concerned. But if he has attained the age of twenty one years, he will not be disqualified on the ground that he has not attained the age of twenty five years. (b) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by the Legislature of the State. (2) The determination of disqualification matter be done in such manner as the Legislature of a State may by law, provide.(Article 243F) Powers authority and responsibilities of Panchayats The Legislature of a State may, by law, endow the Panchayats with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government with respect to – (a) the preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; (b) the implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. (Article 243G) Powers to impose taxes by, and Funds of, the Panchayats The Legislature of a State may, by law- (a) Authorize a Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject to such limits; (b) Assign to a Panchayat such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the state Government for such purposes and subject to such conditions and limits; (c) Provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the conso-lidated fund of the State; and (d) Provide for constitution of such funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively by or on behalf of the Panchayats and also for the withdrawal of such moneys therefrom, as may be specified in the law.(Article 243H)

Constitution of Finance Commission to review financial position

(1) The Governor of a State shall, as soon as may be within one year from the commencement of the’ Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, and thereafter at the expiration of every five years, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the panchayats and to make recommendation to the Governor as to– (a) Principles which should govern (i) the distribution between the State’ and the Panchayats of the net proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State, which may be divided between them under this Part and the allocations between the Panchayats at all levels of their respective shares of such proceeds; (ii) the determination of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may be assigned to, OJ appropriated by, the Panchayats; (iii) the grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the consolidated Fund of the State; (b) The measures needed to improve the financial position of the Panchayats; (c) Any other mater referred to the Finance Commission by the Governor in the interests of sound finance of the Panchayats. (2) The legislature of a State may, by law, provide for the com-position of the Commission, the qualifications which shall be requisite for appointment as members there of and the manner in which they shall be selected. (3) The Commission shall deter-mine their procedure and shall have such powers in the performance of their functions as the Legislature of the State may, by law, confer on them. (4) The Governor shall cause every recommendation made by the commission under this article together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken thereon to be laid before the Legislature of the State.(Article 243 I)

Audit of accounts of Panchayats The Legislature of State may, by law, make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts.(Article 243 J) Elections to the Panchayats (1) The superintence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Panchayats shall be vested in a state Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor. (2) Subject to the provisions of any law made by the Legislature of a State, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the State Election Commissioner shall be such as the Governor may by rule determine: Provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of a High Court and the conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. (3) The Governor of a State shall, when so requested by the State Election Commission, make available to the State Election Commission such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the State Election Commission by clause (1). (4) Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to the Panchayats. (Article 243K) Application to Union Territories The provisions of this part shall apply to the union territories and shall, in their application to a Union Territory, have effect as if the references to the Governor of a State were references to the Administrator of the Union Territory appointed under article 239 and references to the Legislature or the Legislative Assembly of a State were references, in relation to a Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly, to that Legislative Assembly. Provided that the President may, by public notification, direct that the provisions of this part shall apply to any union territory or part thereof subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify in the notification. (Article 243 L) Part not to apply to certain areas (1) Nothing in this part shall apply to the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (0, and the tribal areas referred to in clause (2) of article 244. (2) Nothing in this part shall apply to- (a) the states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram; (b) the hill areas in the state of Manipur for which District Councils exist under any law for the time being in force. (3) Nothing in this part- (a) relating to Panchayats at the district level shall apply to the hill areas of the District of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal for which Darjeeling Gorbha Hill council exists under any law for the time being in force; (b) shall be construed to affect the functions and powers of the Darjeeling Gorbha Hill Council constituted under such law. (4) Notwithstanding anything in this constitution- (a) the Legislature of a State referred to in subclause (a) of clause (2) may, by law, extend this part to that state, except the areas, if any, referred to in clause (1), if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-third of the members of that House present and voting; (b) Parliament may, by law, extend the provisions of this part to the scheduled Areas and the tribal areas referred to in clause (1) subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in such law, and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of this constitution for the purpose of article 368.(Article 243 M) Continuance of existing laws and Panchayats Nothwithstanding anything in this part, any provision of any law relating to Panchayats in force in a State immediately before the commencement of the constitution (seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, which is inconsistent with the provisions of this part, shall continue to be in force until amended or repealed by a competent Legislature or other competent authority or until the expiration of one year from such commencement, whichever is earlier: Provided that all the Panchayats existing immediately before such commencement shall continue till the expiration of their duration, unless sooner dissolved by a resolution passed to that effect by the Legisla-tive Assembly of that State or, in the case of a state having a Legislative Council, by each House of the Legislative of that State. (Article 243 N) Bar to interference by courts’ in electoral matters Notwithstanding anything in this constitution- (a) the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under article 243 K, shall not be called in question in any court; (b) no election to any Panchayat shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as is provided for by or under any law made by the Legislature of a State. (Article 243-O) 74th Amendment Act of 1992 This act has added a new Part IX-A to the Constitutional of India. It is entitled as ‘The Municipalities’ and consists of provisions from Articles 243-P to 243-ZG. In addition, the act has also added a new Twelfth Schedule to the Constitution. It contains eighteen functional items of municipalities. The act gave constitutional status to the municipalities. It has brought them under the purview of justiciable part of the Constitution. In other words, state governments are under constitutional obligation to adopt the new sys-tem of municipalities in accordance with the provisions of the act. The act aims at revitalising and strengthening the urban governments so that they function effectively as units of local government. Salient Features of The Act Constitution of Municipalities (1) There shall be constituted in every state, in according with the provision of this part- (a) a Nagar Panchayat (by whatever name called) for a transitional area, that is to say, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area; (b) a Municipal Council for a smaller urban area; and (c) a Municipal corporation for a larger urban area, Provided that a Municipality under this clause may not be constituted in such urban area or part thereof as the Governor may, haying regard to the size of the area and the municipal services being provided or proposed to be provided by an industrial establishment in that area and such other factors as he may deem fit, by public notification, specify to be an industrial township. (2) In this article, ‘a transitional area’ ‘a smaller urban area’ or ‘a larger urban area’ means such area as the Governor may, having regard to the population of the area, the density of the population therein, the revenue generated for local administration, the percentage of employment in non-agricultural activities, the economic importance or such other factors as he may deem fit, specify by public notification for the purpose of this part. (Article 243 Q) Composition of Municipalities (1) Except as provided in clause (2), all the seats in a Municipality shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from the territorial constituencies in the Municipal area and for this purpose each Municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards. (2) Legislature of a State may, by law, provide- (a) for the representation in a Municipality of- (i) persons having special knowledge or experience in Municipal administration; (ii) the members of the House of the People and the members of the Legislative Assembly of the state representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly the Municipal area; (iii) the members of the Council of States and the members of the Legislative council of the state registered as electors within the Municipal area; (iv) the chairpersons of the committees constituted under clause (5) of article 243 S : Provided that the persons referred to in paragraph (i) shall not have the right to vote in the meeting of the Municipality; (b) the manner of election of the chairperson of a Municipality. (Article 243 R) Constitution and composition of wards committees etc. (1) There shall be constituted Ward Committees, consisting of one or more wards, within the territorial area of a municipality having a population of three lakh or more. (2) The Legislature of a State may, by law make provision with respect to – (a) the composition and the territorial area of a ward committee; (b) the manner in which seats in a ‘wards committee shall be filled. (3) A member of a Municipality representing a ward within the territorial area of wards committee shall be a member of that committee. (4) where a ward committee consists of- (a) one ward, the member representing that ward in the municipality; or (b) two or more wards, one of the members representing such wards in the Municipality elected by the members of the ward committee, shall be the chairperson of that committee. (5) Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prevent the Legislature of a State from making any provision for the constitution of committees in addition to the wards committees. (Art. 243 S) Reservation of seats (1) Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in every municipality and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in that municipality as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the Municipal area or of the Scheduled Tribes in the Municipal area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality. (2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging -to the Scheduled Castes, or as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes. (3) Not less one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every municipality shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality. (4) The offices of chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide. (5) The reservation of seats under clause (1) and (2) and the reservation of offices of chairpersons (other than the reservation for women) under clause (3) shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period specified in article 334. (6) Nothing in this part shall pre-vent the Legislature of a state from making any provision for reservation of seats in any municipality or offices of chairpersons in the Municipalities in favour of backward class of citizens. (Article 243 T) Duration of Municipalities etc. (1) 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. Provided that a Municipality shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before its dissolution. (2) No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the effect of causing dissolution of a Municipality at any level, which is functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of its duration specified in clause (I). (3) An election to constitute a Municipality shall be completed- (a) before the expiry of its duration specified in clause (1); (b) before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution: Provided that where the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Municipality would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election under this clause for constituting the Municipality for such period. (4) A Municipality constituted upon the dissolution of a Municipality before the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Municipality would have continued under clause (l) had it not been so and dissolved. (Article 243 U) Disqualification for membership (1) A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of a Municipality- (a) if he is so disqualified by or under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the Legislature of the State concerned. Provided that no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than twenty five years of age, if he has attained the age of twenty one years; (b) if he is so disqualified by or under any. law made by the Legislature of the State. (2) If any question arises as whether a member of a Municipality has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (I), the question shall be referred for the decision of such authority and in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide. (Article 243 V) Powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities etc. Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, endow- (a) the Municipalities with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to functions as institutions of self-government and such law may contain provisions for the devolution of powers and responsibilities upon Municipalities, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, with respect to– (i) the preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; (ii) the performance of functions and the implementation of schemes as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule; (b) the committees with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to carry out the responsibilities conferred upon them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule. (Article 243 W) Power to impose taxes by, and Funds of, the Municipalities The Legislature of a State may, by law- (a) authorize a Municipality to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes and duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject to such limits; (b) assign to a Municipality such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the state Government for such purposes and subject to such conditions and limits; (c) provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Municipalities from the Consolidated Fund of the State, and (d) provide for constitution of such Funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Municipalities and also for the withdrawal of such money therefrom, as may be specified by law. (Article 243 X)

Finance Commission

(1) The Finance Commission constituted under article 2431 shall also review the financial position of the Municipalities and make recommendations to the Governor as to – (a) the principles which should govern- (i) the distribution of between the State and the Municipalities of the net proceeds of the taxes duties tolls and fees leviable by the State, which may be divided between them under this part and the allocation between the Municipalities at all levels of their respective shares of such proceeds; (ii) the determination of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may be assigned to, or appropriated by the Municipalities; (iii) the grants-in-aid to the Municipalities from the Consolidated Fund of the State; (b) the measures needed to improve the financial position of the Municipalities; (c) any other matter referred to the Finance Commission by the Governor in the interests of sound finance of the Municipalities. (2) The Governor shall cause every recommendation made by the Commission under this article together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken thereon to be laid before the Legislature of the State. (Article 243 Y)

Audit of accounts of Municipalities The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the Municipalities and the auditing of such accounts. (Article 243 Z) Elections to the Municipalities (1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electrol rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Municipalities shall be vested in the State Election Commission referred to in article 243K. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the legislature of a State may, by “law, make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with-, elections to the Municipalities. (Articles 243 ZA) Application to Union Territories The provisions of this part shall apply to the Union Territories and shall, in their application to a Union Territory, have effect as if the reference to the Governor of a State were references to the Administrator of the Union Territory appointed under article 239 and references to the Legislature or the Legislative Assembly of a State were references in relation to a Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly, to that Legislative Assembly. Provided that the President may, by public notification, direct that the provisions of this part shall apply to any Union Territory or part thereof subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify in the notification. (Article 243 ZB) Committee for District Planning (1) There shall be constituted in every state at the district level a District Planning Committee to consolidate the plans prepared by the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the district and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole. (2) The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect to (a) the composition of the District Planning Committees; (b) the manner in which the seats in such committee shall be filled. Provided that not less than two-third of the total number of members of such committee shall be elected by, and from amongst, the elected members of the Panchayat at the district level and of the Municipalities in the district in proportion to the ratio between the population of the rural areas and of the urban areas in the district. (c) the functions relating to district planning which may be assigned to such committee; (d) the manner in which the chairpersons of such committees shall be chosen. (3) Every District Planning Committee shall, in preparing the draft development plan- (a) have regard to-(i) matters of common interest between the Panchayats and the Municipalities including spatial planning, sharing of water and other physical and natural resources, the integrated development of infrastructure and environ-mental conservation; (ii) the extent and type of available resources whether financial or otherwise; (b) consult such institutions and organisations as the Governor may, by order, specify. (4) The chairperson of every District Planning Committee shall forward the development plans, as recommended by such Committee, to the Government of the State. (Article 243 ZD) Committee for Metropolitan Planning (1) There shall be constituted in every Metropolitan Planning Committee to prepare a draft development plan for the Metropolitan area as a whole. (2) The Legislature of a State be may, by law, make provision with respect to (a) the composition of the Metropolitan Planning Committees; (b) The manner in which the to seats in such committees shall be filled: Provided that not less than two-third of the members of such committee shall be elected by and from amongst, the elected members of the Municipalities and Chairpersons of the Panchayats in the Metropolitan area in proportion to the ratio n between the population of the Municipalities and of the Panchayats in that area; (c) the representation in such Committees of the Government of India and the Government of the State and of such organisations and Institutions as may be deemed necessary for carrying out the functions assigned to such committees; (d) the functions relating to planning and co-ordination for the Metropolitan area which may be assigned to such committees; (e) the manner in which the chairpersons of such committees shall be chosen. (3) Every Metropolitan Planning Committee shall, in preparing the draft development plan- (a) have regard to- (i) the plans prepared by the Municipalities and the Panchayats in the Metropolitan area; (ii) matters of common interest between the Municipalities and the Panchayats, including spatial planning of the area, sharing of water and other physical and natural resources, the integrated development of infra-structure and environmental conservation; (iii) the overall objectives and priorities set by the Government of India and the Government of the State; (iv) the extent and nature of investments likely to be made in the. Metropolitan area by agencies of the Government of India and of the Government of the State and other available resources whether financial or otherwise; (b) consult such institutions am organisations as the Governor may by order, specify. (4) The Chairperson of even Metropolitan Planning Committee shall forward the development plan” as recommended by such committee, to the Government of the State. (Article 243 ZE) Continuance of existing laws and Municipalities Notwithstanding anything in this part, any provision of any law relating to Municipalities in force in a State immediately before the commencement of the constitution (seventy fourth amendment) Act, 1992 which is inconsistent with the provisions of this part, shall continue to be in force until amended or repealed by a competent Legislature other competent authority or until the expiration of one year from such commencement, whichever is earlier. Provided that all the Municipalities existing immediately before such commencement shall continue till the expiration of their duration unless sooner dissolved by a resolution : passed to that effect by the Legislative Assembly of that state or, in the case of a state having a Legislative Council, by each House of the Legislative of that state. (Article 243 ZF) Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters Not with standing anything in this constitution- (a) the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under article 2432A shall not be called in question in any court, (b) no election to any Municipality shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as is provided for by or under any law If made by the Legislature of a state. (Article 243ZG)

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