Kerala Local Self-Government

Decentralization of powers is a pre-requisite of a democratic country. Local Self-Government implies the decentralization of powers so that the elected bodies may function independently with authority and resources to bring about "economic development and social justice".

The local government of the state of Kerala comprises of 991 Grama Panchayats, 152 Block Panchayats, 14 District Panchayats, 54 Municipalities and 5 Municipal Corporations. Altogether there are 1214 local self government bodies of Kerala.Thus the Panchayats and the Municipal Administration altogether constitute the Local Self Government of Kerala.

On the basis of 73rd and 74th amendments acts of the Constitution, The Panchayat Raj and the Municipality Act came into effect on the 23rd of April and 30th of May 1994 respectively. As a result the powers were decentralized, the responsibilities and projects of the Government were transferred to the local self-government on 2nd October, 1995.

The name of the Local Administration Department of Kerala was changed by the government into Department of Local Self-government and in order to facilitate administration, the Rural Development Department was integrated with the Local Self-government department and certain changes were incorporated in the Secretariat pertaining to the administrative issues of urban areas. The Department of Urban Planning was changed into the Department of Town and Country Planning.

Remarkable changes were made in the Urban Development Financial Corporation and the Rural Development Board.

The Local self-government plays significant role in the formulation of policy and implementation of developmental works at the grass roots level through the Gram Sabhas. Director of Panchayat and the Director of Municipal Administration constitute the two field departments of the Local Administration Department of Local Self Government of Kerala. A Secretary to Government heads this department. The local self government of Kerala exercises great power and is effective in implementing developmental programs in the state.

Last Updated on 01/30/2012