• ‘Urban Local Government’. 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992

  • Subject of ‘urban local government’ is dealt with by the following three ministries: –
    • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs – For States
    • Ministry of Defence – For cantonment boards
    • Ministry of Home Affairs – For Union Territories

Historical Perspective of Municipalities

  • First municipal corporation in India – At Madras
  • Bombay and Calcutta Municipal corporations – In 1726
  • Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870 – on financial decentralization visualized the development of local self-government institutions.
  • Lord Ripon’s Resolution of 1882 – ‘Magna Carta’ of local self-government. Ripon father of local-self-government in India.
  • Royal Commission on decentralization in 1907. Its chairman was Hob-house.
  • Government of India Act of 1919 – Under the dyarchical scheme, local self-government became a transferred subject under the charge of a responsible Indian minister.
  • Cantonments Act was passed – In 1924.
  • Government of India Act of 1935 – Under the provincial autonomy scheme, local self-government was declared a provincial subject.

74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992

  • New Part IX A ‘The Municipalities’- Article 243 P To Article 243 ZG
  • Added a new Twelfth Schedule with 18 functional items of municipalities deals with Article 243-W.
  • Constitutional status to the municipalities – Justiciable part 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992
  • Constitutional obligation on State governments to adopt the new system of municipalities in accordance with the provisions of the act.

Three Types of Municipalities –

  1. A nagar panchayat for a transitional area.
  2. A municipal council for a smaller urban area.
  3. A municipal corporation for a larger urban area.

The governor has to specify a transitional area, a smaller urban area or a larger urban area.

  • Composition 243R– All the members of a municipality shall be elected directly by the people of the municipal area through territorial constituencies to be known as wards.
  • Election of the chairperson of a municipality– As state legislature may determine.
  • Special Representation– persons having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration without the right to vote in the meetings of municipality; members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha; state legislative assembly, state legislative council.
  • Wards Committees 243S– Consisting of one or more wards having population of three lakh or more. Composition and the territorial area of a wards committee may determine by state legislature.
  • Reservation of Seats 243T-
    • SC and ST – in proportionate to their population.
    • Women– Not less than one-third of the total number of seats to be reserved for women, further not less than one-third of the total number of offices for chairperson at all levels of the panchayat to be reserved for women.
    • State legislatures may make provisions to decide on the reservation of seats in favour of backward classes.
  • Duration of Municipalities 243U– Provides for a five-year term of office for every municipality. However, it can be dissolved before the completion of its term.
  • Further, the fresh elections to constitute a municipality shall be completed (a)before the expiry of its duration of five years; or (b) in case of dissolution, before the expiry of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.
  • NOTE– Where the remainder of the period (for which the dissolved municipality would have continued) is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election for constituting the new municipality for such period.
  • Moreover, municipality reconstituted after premature dissolution does not enjoy the full period of five years but remains in office only for the remainder of the period.
  • Disqualifications243V– A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as or for being a member of a municipality if he is so disqualified –
  • Under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the legislature of the state concerned; or
  • Under any law made by the state legislature.
  • All questions of disqualifications shall be referred to such authority as the state legislature determines.
  • 21 years to be the minimum age for contesting elections to panchayats.
  • State Election Commission for each state – The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the municipalities shall be vested in the state election commission.
  • SEC conducts elections for Panchayats and Municipalities.
  • The state legislature may make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the municipalities.
  • Powers and Functions 243W– The state legislature may endow the municipalities with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government.
  • Preparation of plans for economic development and social justice;
  • Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them, including those in relation to the eighteen matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule.
  • Finances– The state legislature may-
  • authorise a municipality to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees;
  • assign to a municipality taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by state government;
  • provide for making grants-in-aid to the municipalities from the consolidated fund of the state; and
  • provide for constitution of funds for crediting all moneys of the municipalities.
  • Finance Commission 243Y– The finance commission (which is constituted for the panchayats) shall also, for every five years, review the financial position of municipalities and make recommendation to the governor who shall place it before the state legislature.
  • The central finance commission shall also suggest the measures needed to augment the consolidated fund of a state to supplement the resources of the municipalities in the state (on the basis of the recommendations made by the finance commission of the state).
  • Audit of Accounts243Z– The state legislature may make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by municipalities and the auditing of such accounts.
  • Application to Union Territories 243ZB– Provisions of this part are applicable to the Union territories. But, the President may direct that they would apply to a Union territory subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify.
  • Exempted Areas 243ZC– Scheduled areas and tribal areas in the states. It shall also not affect the functions and powers of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council of the West Bengal.
  • District Planning Committee243ZD– Every state shall constitute at the district level to consolidate the plans prepared by panchayats and municipalities in the district, and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole.
  • State legislature may make provisions with respect composition, functions, manner of election of members and chairpersons such committees.
  • Four-fifths of the members of DPC should be elected by the elected members of the district panchayat and municipalities in the district from amongst themselves.
  • The chairperson of such committee shall forward the development plan to the state government.
  • Metropolitan Planning Committee for every metropolitan area 243ZE– To prepare a draft development plan.
  • Two-thirds of the members of MPC should be elected by the elected members of the municipalities and chairpersons of the panchayats in the metropolitan area from amongst themselves.
  • Bar to Interference by Courts in Electoral Matters 243 ZG– It declares that the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies cannot be questioned in any court.
  • No election to any municipality is to be questioned except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as provided by the state legislature.

Types of Urban Government

  1. Municipality:
    • For administration of towns and smaller cities.
    • Known as municipal council, municipal committee, municipal board, borough municipality, city municipality.
    • Unlike Municipal corporation, head of council is called President /chairman and in place of commissioner they have a chief executive officer/chief municipal officer.
  1. Notified Area Committee:
    • Created for the administration of fast developing town and a town which does not yet fulfil all the conditions necessary for the constitution of a municipality,
    • Created by a notification and unlike the municipality.
    • An entirely nominated body, by the state government.
    • Neither a statutory body nor an elected body.
  1. Town Area Committee:
    • Set up by a separate act of state legislature for small town.
    • Semi-municipal authority entrusted with limited civic functions.
    • May be wholly elected or wholly nominated or partly elected and partly nominated as provided by state government.
  1. Cantonment Board:
    • Municipal administration for civilian population in the cantonment areas.
    • Set up under the provisions of the Cantonment Act, 2006 by central government.
    • Under ambit of Defence ministry of central government. It is
    • partly elected and partly nominated
    • Ex-officio President – Military officer commanding the station.
    • Vice president – Elected amongst by the elected members of board.
    • Executive officer – Appointed by the President of India.
  1. Township:
    • Established by public enterprises to provide civic amenities to its staff and worker.
    • It is not an elected body and all members are appointed by the enterprise
  1. Port Trust:
    • Consists of both elected and nominated
    • To manage and protect the ports and to provide civic amenities.
    • Created by an Act of Parliament.
  1. Special Purpose Agency:
    • To undertake designated activities or specific functions.
    • These are function based, not area based.
    • Known as ‘single purpose’, ‘uni-purpose’ or ‘special purpose’ or ‘functional local bodies’. E.g. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
    • Established as statutory bodies by an act of state legislature or as departments by an executive resolution.
    • Function as an autonomous body and are not subordinate agencies to local municipal bodies.
    • NOTE – ULBs do not exist in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Metropolitan area – An area in the country where population is above 10 Lakh. (Article 243P)
    • Presently (as of 2019) there are a total of ten tribal areas (autonomous districts) in the four states of Assam (3), Meghalaya (3), Tripura (1) and Mizoram (3). 6th schedule deals with administration of tribal areas in above four states.

Central Council of Local Government

  • Set up in 1954. It was constituted under Article 263 (Inter-state council) of the Constitution of India by an order of the President of India as an advisory body.
  • Chairperson – Union minister for Urban Development
  • It consists of the Minister in the Government of India and the ministers for local self-government in states.

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