Three decades of empowering Panchayati Raj Institutions

Three decades of empowering Panchayati Raj Institutions

The Parliament passed the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in December 1992. These Acts came into force on 24th April, 1993 and 1st June, 1993 respectively. For this reason, 24 April is celebrated as National Panchayati Raj Day in India.

  • The 73rd Amendment added a new Part IX to the Indian Constitution. The title of this part is “Panchayat”. At the same time, the 74th Amendment added Part IXA to the Constitution. The title of this part is “Municipalities”.

Achievements of the 73rd Amendment Act –

  • The proportion of elected women representatives in Panchayats is continuously increasing. Additionally, states such as Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Kerala have more than 50% women representatives in local bodies.
  • Women’s representation in local bodies has a positive impact on the delivery of local public goods/services to marginalized communities.
  • Many elected members (especially women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) have started exercising their constitutional rights. In addition, they are gradually assuming leadership roles as well.
  • Promotes healthy competition among different states in terms of decentralization (especially the 3Fs: Funds, Functions and Functionaries).

Challenges faced in implementing 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments:

  • 3Fs have not been devolved to the local bodies as per requirement.
  • Local bodies lack the power to make policies. Moreover, they have to act only as an instrument of directions of the State Government.
  • They have to depend on the state governments for grants. Also, the level of financial transfers is dismal.
  • Other challenges: There is a lack of awareness; Caste, class and gender biases still exist etc.

Source – Hindustan Times

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