Panchayats in Kerala

Panchayati Raj and the Municipal Administration together constitute the Local Self Government System of Kerala, the southernmost state of India.

Panchayati Raj in Kerala works on the basis of the three- tier system and comprises of the Grama Panchayats, Block Panchayats and District Panchayats.

In Kerala, there are 991 Grama Panchayats, 152 Block Panchayats and 14 District Panchayats.

In an evaluation done by the Union Panchayati Raj Ministry in 20004-05, Kerala was adjudged as the best state for the implementation of the Panchayati Raj in the country.

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. This led to the decentralization of powers, responsibilities and projects of the Government as they were transferred to the local self-government on 2nd October, 1995.

The provisions for Gram Sabha in a single village or a cluster of village were made by the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act of 1994. It laid the provision of a three tier system of Panchayat for the first time in the village, block and district level. Panchayats were vested with the powers and responsibilities of the economic development and social justice of the state. The Panchyats were also responsible for the implementation of developmental schemes and setting up of a Finance Commission for reviewing the financial status of the Panchayats.

Besides this, the appointment of a State Election Commission for the direction, superintendence and conduction of elections to various levels of Panchayats was also provided by the Act.

The Kerala District Administration Act of 1980 was restated by the enactment of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act of 1994.

This Kerala Panchayat Raj Act of 1994 made it mandatory for that the Gram Sabhas to meet at once in three months and the quorum of 10% is a must. The Gram Sabhas were empowered to discuss Audit report, budget, plan documents and evaluation of public works.

New Panchayats

For ensuring better administration of the Panchayats, the massive-sized Panchayats were subdivided and 20 new grama or village panchayats and they started functioning from October in the year 2000.

The government of Kerala has decided to grant special awards in the form of Swaraj Trophy and cash prize to the state level and district level Panchayats for outstanding performance in administration, revenue collection, planning, village assemblies, people's participation, distribution of social security pension and so on.

Last Updated on 12/31/2012