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73rd and 74th constitution amendment act.
  73 and 74 constitution amendment act

After the 73rd and 74th Amendments the Democratic base has widened enormously enabling Horizontal Planning and Implementation of Development Programmes.

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73rd Amendment Act, 1992 The salient features of the Act are: -

·         To provide 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj for all States having population of over 20 lakh.
·         To hold Panchayat elections regularly every 5 years.
·         To provide reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women (not less than 33%)
·         To appoint State Finance Commission to make recommendations as regards the financial powers of the Panchayats.
·         To constitute District Planning Committee to prepare draft development plan for the district as a whole.

Powers and Responsibilities

·         According to the Constitution, Panchayats shall be given powers and authority to function as institutions of self-government. The following powers and responsibilities are to be delegated to Panchayats at the appropriate level

·         Preparation of plan for economic development and social justice.

·         Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice in relation to 29 subjects given in Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.

·         To levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees.

Gram Sabha

·         In the Panchayati Raj set up, the Gram Sabha, the general assembly of villagers, has a key role for effective functioning of Panchayats. In the Gram Sabha meeting, the rural poor, the women and the marginalized people would now get an opportunity to join in decision making on matters affecting their lives. Active functioning of the Gram Sabha would ensure a participatory democracy with transparency, accountability and achievement.

·         Gram Sabha should meet least in each quarter preferably on Republic Day, Labour Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti.

·         Decide developmental work to be undertaken by Panchayats based on needs assessment.

·         Suggest remedial measures for economy and efficiency in the functioning of the Panchayats.

·         Question and scrutinize the decisions of Panchayats in the meeting of Gram Sabha.

·         Discuss the Annual Financial Statement of Gram Panchayats.


Constitution 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 system 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

The salient features of the act are; Three Types of Municipalities The act provides for the constitution of the following three types of municipalities in every state.

I. A nagar pancbayat (by whatever name called) for a transitional area, that is, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area.

2. A municipal council for a smaller urban area.

3. A municipal corporation for a larger urban area'.


All the members of a municipality shall be elected directly by the people of the municipal area. For this purpose, each municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards. The state legislature may provide the manner of election of the chairperson of a municipality. 

It may also provide for the representation of the following persons in a municipality.

I. Persons having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration without the right to vote in the meetings of municipality.

2. The members of the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assembly representing constituencies that comprise wholly or partly the municipal area.

3. The members of the Rajya Sabha and the state legislative council registered as electors within the municipal area.

4. The chairpersons of committees (other than wards committees).

Wards Committees 

There shall be constituted a wards committee, consisting of one or more wards, within the territorial area of a municipality having population of three lath or more. The state legislature may make provision with respect to the composition and the territorial area of a wards committee and the manner in which the seats in a wards committee shall be filled It may also make any provision for the constitution of commitees in addition to the wards committees.

Reservation of Seats

The act provides for the reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes in every municipality in proportion of their population to the total population in the municipal area. Further, it provides for the reservation of not less than one-third of the total number of seats for women (including the number of seats reserved for woman belonging to the SCs and the STs).

The state legislature may provide for the manner of reservation of offices of chairpersons in the municipalities for SCs, STs and women. It may also make any provision for the reservation of seats in any municipality or offices -of chairpersons in municipalities in favour of backward classes.

Duration of Municipalities

The act provides for a five-year term of office for every municipality. However, it can be dissolved before the completion of its term. Further, the fresh elections to constitute a municipality shall be completed 

(a) before the expiry of its duration of five years; or

(b) in case of dissolution, before the expiry of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.


A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as or for being a member of a municipality if he is so disqualified (a) under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the legislature of the state concerned; or (b) under any law made by the state legislature. However, no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than 25 years of age if he has attained the age of 21 years. Further, all questions of disqualifications shall be referred to such authority as the state legislature determines.

State Election Commission

The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the municipalities shall be vested in the state election commission. The state legislature may make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the municipalities. 

Powers and Functions

The state legislature may endow the municipalities with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government. Such a scheme may contain provisions for the devolution of powers and responsibilities upon municipalities at the appropriate level 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 eighteen matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule.

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Features of 73rd and 74th Amendment 

The Constitution 73rd Amendment Act, 1992 came into effect from 24th April 1993. No one disputes that it is a historic legislation. The basic question arises as to what was the basic sprit behind this legislation? Was it limited to the passing of conformity acts and endowing panchayats with some administrative and financial powers or to make them genuine institutions for participatory self-government? The emphasis has been so far on the former, which has made panchayats mere implementing agencies of central and state schemes, passed on to them, with funds. The basic objective of the democratic decentralization through reactivation of the Panchayati Raj system was to realize Gandhiji’s concept of “ Swarajya”(Ibid.). In this Unit we will be discussing the various features of the 73rd and the 74th amendments.

Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

  1. Part IX has been inserted immediately after ‘Part VIII’ of the Constitution and after the ‘Tenth Schedule’ of the Constitution, ‘ Eleventh Schedule ‘ has been added (Article 243G) which gives the detail list of functions to be performed by PRIs. Panchayats shall be constituted in every state at the village, intermediate and district levels, thus bringing about uniformity in the PR structure. However, the states having a population not exceeding 20 lakh have been given the option of not having any Panchayat at the intermediate level.
  2. While the elections in respect of all the members to Panchayats at the level will be direct, the election in respect of the post of the Chairman at the intermediate and district level will be indirect. The mode of election of Chairman to the village level has been left to the State Government to decide. All members including the chairperson shall have the right to vote.
  3. Reservation of seats for SC/STs has been provided in proportion to their population at each level. Not less than one-third of the total membership has been reserved for women (in both reserved and general category) and these seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat. Similar reservations have been made in respect of the office of the chairperson also.
  4. A uniform term of five years has been provided for the PRIs and in the event of dissolution or super session, election to constitute the body should be completed before the expiry of six months from the date of dissolution. It the remainder period is less than six months, fresh elections may not be necessary. Panchayat constituted upon dissolution may continue for the remainder of the period (Bajpai and Verma,
  5. With a view to ensuring continuity, it has been provided in the Act that all the Panchayats existing immediately before the commencement of this Amendment Act will continue till the expiry of their duration unless dissolved by a resolution to that effect passed by the State Legislatures concerned or any law relating to the panchayats which before the amendment came into force, not inconsistent with its provisions shall continue, unless amended or repealed.
  6. There shall be an Election Commission for the conduct of all elections to the panchayats consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the State Government. It shall also be in charge of superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls.
  7. The State Legislature have been given the power to authorise the Panchayats to levy, collect and appropriate suitable local taxes and also provide for making grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the consolidated fund of the concerned state.
  8. A State Finance Commission has to be constituted once in every five years to review the financial position of the Panchayat and to make suitable recommendations to the Governor as to the principles which should govern the distribution between the state and the panchayats of revenue, whether net proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls, and fees leviable by the state or grants in aid and recommend measures to strengthen the financial position of the panchayat bodies and deliberate on any other matter referred to it by the Governor. The Constitution 73 rd amendment act adds a sub clause (bb) to Article 280 of the Constitution. According to this sub clause, the Central Finance Commission, in addition to other stipulated duties, shall also make recommendations to the President regarding the measures needed to augment the then Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats in the State on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State (Bajpai and Verma, 1995).
  9. The State Legislatures should bring in necessary amendments to their Panchayat Acts within a maximum period of one year from the Commencement of this Amendment Act so as to conform to the provision contained in the Constitution

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