Compulsory And Voluntary Provisions

Compulsory (obligatory or mandatory) and voluntary (discretionary or optional) provisions (features) of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act (1992) or the Part IX of the Constitution:

Compulsory Provisions 
  • Organisation of Gram Sabha in a village or group of villages.
  • Establishment of panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels.
  • Direct elections to all seats in panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels.
  • Indirect elections to the post of chairperson of panchayats at the intermediate and district levels. 5. 21 years to be the minimum age for contesting elections to panchayats.
  • Reservation of seats (both members and chairpersons) for SCs and STs in panchayats at all the three levels. 
  • Reservation of one-third seats (both members and chairpersons) for women in panchayats at all the three levels.
  • Fixing tenure of five years for Panchayat at all levels and holding fresh elections within six months in the event of supersession of any Panchayat.
  • Establishment of a State Election Commission for conducting elections to the Panchayat.
  • Constitution of a State Finance Commission after every five years to review the financial position of the Panchayat. 
Voluntary Provisions
  • Giving representation to members of the Parliament (both the Houses) and the state legislature (both the Houses) in the Panchayat at different levels falling within their constituencies. Providing reservation of seats (both members and chairpersons) for backward classes in Panchayat at any level.
  • Granting powers and authority to the Panchayat to enable them to function as institutions of self-government (in brief, making them autonomous bodies).
  • Devolution of powers and responsibilities upon Panchayat to prepare plans for economic development and social justice; and to perform some or all of the 29 functions listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the
  • Constitution. Granting financial powers to the Panchayat, that is, authorizing them to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees.

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