Chapters :
  •  PESA Act, 1996
  • The Municipalities
  • Salient Features of the Act
  • Distribution of Powers and Functions


PESA Act, 1996:

The PESA Act was enacted with the objective of extending the Panchayati Raj system to the scheduled areas under Schedule V of the constitution.
  1. When a state legislature enacts laws on Panchayats, the cultural and social practices of the tribal communities who live within the scheduled areas must be taken into consideration.
  2. The Gram Sabha is empowered to deal with the matters such as the protection the customs, community resources and dispute resolution.
  3. The Gram Sabha is endowed with the duty of finding the beneficiaries for poverty alleviation schemes and other welfare schemes.
  4. The approval of Gram Sabha is mandatory for the implementation of plans, projects and programmes for the socio-economic development of the tribal communities.
  5. The chairpersons at all the three levels of panchayat in a scheduled areas must be reserved for ST community.
  6. The Gram Sabha must be consulted on the matters of land acquisition for projects in the scheduled areas.
  7. The Panchayats are authorised to manage minor water bodies in the scheduled areas.
  8. The Panchayats in the scheduled areas are empowered to regulate the following matters.
  9. The sale and consumption of intoxicants;
  10. Ownership rights over minor forest produce;
  11. Encroachment of tribal lands by outsiders;
  12. Control over local plans and economic resources;
  13. Prevent the higher levels of panchayat from taking over the powers of gram panchayats.
  • The Municipalities
The Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) were accorded the constitutional status by the 74rd constitutional amendment act, 1992. The ULBs are institutions of urban local self-government. Articles 243P to 243ZG in Part IX A of the constitution deal with the organisation, powers and duties of ULBs. Salient Features of the Act:
  1. Three Types of Municipalities:
The municipalities are of three types. They are
  1. Municipal Corporation – For big cities.
  2. Municipal Council – For towns and smaller cities.
  3. Town Panchayat – For areas in transition from rural to urban.
  4. Reservation of Seats:
  5. The act provides for reservation of seats for the SCs and STs in the municipalities in proportion to their population.
  6. Not less than 1/3rd of the seats shall be reserved for women, including the women from SC and ST categories.
  7. The state governments may even provide for reservation of seats to the other backward communities in the states.
  8. Duration of Municipality:
The members of the municipalities are elected for a term of five years. If it is dissolved before the expiry of the term of five years, election has to be conducted within a period of six months from the date of dissolution.
  1. State Election Commission:
The State Election Commission is endowed with the duty of conducting free and fair elections to the Municipalities. The State Election Commissioner is appointed by the governor but removed by the President in the same manner for the removal of the judges of the State High Courts.
  1. Distribution of Powers and Functions:
The state governments are needed to devolve powers and responsibilities to the Municipalities to enable them to function as institutions of self-government. The 12th Schedule containing 18 subjects was added to the constitution for the distribution of powers between the state legislature and the Municipalities.
  1. State Finance Commission:
The Governor appoints the state finance commission after every 5 years to study the financial status of panchayats. The commission submits its reports to the governor, who then places them before the state legislature.
  1. Exempted Areas:
The provisions of the act are not applicable to the scheduled and tribal areas in the states.
  1. District Planning Committee:
The district planning committees are established to formulate a single plan for the development of a district as a whole by integrating the plans of panchayats, municipal councils and town panchayats.
  1. Metropolitan Planning Committee:
The Metropolitan Planning Committees are established specially for formulating development plans for the metropolitan cities. They include representatives from both the central and the state governments and other organisations.
  1. Types of ULBs:
There are eight types of ULBs. They are
S.No ULB Specifications
1 Municipal Corporation 1.  It is constitutes in big cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, etc. 2.  It consists of three authorities namely, the council, the standing committee and the commissioner. 3.  The council is composed of the councillors, who are directly elected by the people. It is the legislative wing of the corporation. It is headed by the Mayor. 4.  The Standing Committee is constituted to carry out the enormous workload of the council. It is the decision making authority. 5.  The commissioner is appointed by the state government. He is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the council and its standing committee. He is the chief executive authority of the corporation.
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