The 73rd constitutional amendment provided more powers to local self governments and created a three tier system for the rural areas. It empowered and brought about better functioning of the Panchayat Raj.
The Act was passed in 1992 to provide constitutional status to the Panchayat Raj institutions. Following are its salient features:
- A uniform three-tier structure of Panchayat Raj was created, namely, Zilla Parishad at district level, Panchayat Samiti at intermediate level and Gram Panchayat at village level.
- All the seats at the panchayat level are elected by elections for the term of five years.
- Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes.
- 33% reservations of seats for women in these local self governments.
- To hold and control the smooth elections to panchayats, a State Election Commission has to be formed in every State.
- Appointment of State Finance Commission to make recommendations regarding financial powers of the Panchayats.
- To set up District Planning Commission to plan for the development of the district.
- Formation of ‘Gram Sabha’ to bring necessary changes in the village.