What is 74th Constitutional Amendment Act? What goals does the 74th Amendment Act seek to achieve? What clauses in the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act are constitutional? What are the Salient features of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act? Read here to know more about it.
The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 established the Municipalities or Urban Local Governments system as a constitutional entity.
In India, the phrase “Urban Local Government” refers to the process through which the electorate governs an urban region. An urban local government can only regulate activities inside a given urban region that the state government has designated.
Municipalities are now governed by the Constitution’s justiciable provisions thanks to the Act.
What is 74th Constitutional Amendment Act?
Decentralization of powers and authorities to Urban Local Bodies (ULB) at various levels was mandated by the 74th Amendment Act. Additionally, this amendment attempted to establish an institutional structure that would permit entry through autonomous local governments in the nation’s cities.
In order for urban governments to successfully serve as local government units, the legislation intends to revitalise and enhance them.
Part IXA, which went into effect on June 1, 1993, contains the provisions in this amendment. As a result, it provided the local self-government entities in metropolitan areas with a constitutional basis.
Additionally, it granted the ULBs the authority to carry out the 18 tasks stated in the Indian Constitution’s 12th Schedule.
A fundamental basis for the decentralisation of rights and authorities to Municipal organisations at various levels is provided by the 74th Amendment Act of 1992. However, it is the States’ job to give it a concrete form.
Read 73rd constitutional amendment here.
What are the objectives of 74th Amendment Act?
- Municipalities now have constitutional status thanks to the statute. They now fall under the protection of the Constitution’s justiciable provisions as a result.
- In other words, state governments must implement the new municipal system in compliance with the act’s requirements within the terms of their constitutions.
- In order for municipal governments to properly serve as local government units, the legislation aims to improve and reinvigorate them.
What are the constitutional provisions of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act?
- It was passed by Parliament in December 1992 and came into force on 1 June 1993 adding Part IX A (Articles 243-P to 243-ZG) and the 12th schedule in the Constitution.
- The 74th amendment provided a uniform law for all the municipalities in the nation.
Salient features of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act
- Every member of a municipality must be chosen directly by the residents of that area.
- Each municipal region will be divided into territorial constituencies known as wards for this purpose.
- How a municipality’s chairperson is chosen may be regulated by the state legislature.
2. Wards Committees:
- Within the boundaries of a municipality with a population of at least three lakh, a ward committee made up of one or more wards must be established.
- The state legislature may also set any provisions for the formation of other committees in addition to the ward committees.
- These committees’ chairs may become municipally elected officials.
3. Reservation of Seats:
- Reservation of seats for SC and ST is provided in every municipality in proportion to their population.
- Provision for reservation of 1/3rd of the total number of seats is also provided for women.
- The state legislature has been empowered to make any provision for reservation in the municipality at any level in favour of the backward class.
4. Duration of Municipalities:
- Every level of government has given municipalities a five-year term in office. It may, however, be disbanded before its tenure is over.
- If a municipality is elected after it has been dissolved, it will remain in existence for the remainder of the time that it would have remained in existence had it not been dissolved.
- A person shall be disqualified on the following grounds:
- if he is disqualified under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the legislature of the state concerned; or
- if he is disqualified under any law made by the state legislature.
- However, no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than 25 years of age if he has attained the age of 21 years.
6. State Election Commission:
- The State Election Commission has been established and given a number of responsibilities, including oversight, direction, and control over the creation of electoral rolls.
- The state election commission will also oversee the organisation of elections for Municipalities.
7. Powers and Functions:
- The powers and functions of the Municipalities are endowed by the state legislature.
- The Municipalities prepare a plan for economic development and social justice for the people of the Municipality.
- It implements the scheme of the Central and State government for the betterment of the people at the ground level.
- Municipalities have the power to enhance employment facilities and undertake development activities in the area.
The state legislature may:
- authorize a panchayat to levy and collect taxes, duties, duties, and fees;
- assign to the Panchayat taxes, duties, duties, and fees levied and collected by the state government;
- provide grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the state’s consolidated fund, and
- provide for the establishment of funds to credit all money of the Panchayats.
9. Finance Commission:
- The governor appoints the finance panel to assess the Municipalities’ financial standing.
- The governor is advised by this commission to choose the guidelines for how taxes should be split between the state and municipalities.
- Additionally, it decides what taxes, levies, tolls, and other charges can be levied against municipalities.
- According to the rules established by the state government, the municipalities are required to maintain accounts and to have those accounts audited.
10. Audit of Accounts:
- State legislatures can make provisions regarding the maintenance and auditing of municipalities’ accounts.
11. Application to Union Territories:
- The provisions of this Part apply to the territories of the Union. However, the president may specify and direct any exception or modification as required.
12. Exempted Areas:
- The act does not apply to scheduled areas and tribal areas in the following states.
- At present, ten states of India have scheduled areas – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Rajasthan.
- Presently, there are a total of ten tribal areas (autonomous districts) in the four states of Assam (3), Meghalaya (3), Tripura (1), and Mizoram (3).
- It shall also not affect the functions and powers of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council of West Bengal.
13. District Planning Committee:
- A district planning committee must be established in each state at the district level to coordinate the plans created by the panchayats and municipalities within the district and to draught a development plan for the district as a whole.
- According to the act, the elected officials of the district’s municipalities and district panchayats shall elect from among themselves four-fifths of the members of a district planning committee.
14. Metropolitan Planning Committee:
- Every metropolitan area shall have a metropolitan planning committee to prepare a draft development plan.
- A Metropolitan area means an area having a population of 10 lakh or more, in one or more districts, and consisting of two or more municipalities or panchayats or other contiguous areas.
- The act lays down that two-thirds of the members of a metropolitan planning committee should be elected by the elected members of the municipalities and chairpersons of the panchayats in the metropolitan area from amongst themselves.
15. Continuance of Existing Laws and Panchayats:
- Up until one year following the start of this act, all state legislation pertaining to municipalities shall continue to be in force.
- This means that within a year of the act’s implementation on April 24, 1993, the states must implement the new municipality structure it is built on.
- However, unless they are dissolved earlier by the state legislature, all municipalities that existed before the act’s passage will remain in existence until the end of their terms.
16. Bar to Interference by Courts in Electoral Matters:
- The law forbids courts from meddling in local elections.
- It states that no law governing the definition of constituencies or the distribution of seats within those constituencies may be contested in a court.
- Additionally, it states that no election for a municipality may be contested without an election petition submitted in accordance with the rules established by the state legislature and submitted to the appropriate authority.
Types of urban governments under 74th Constitutional Amendment Act
Article 243Q provides for the establishment of 3 kinds of Municipalities in every state.
Governor will by public notice, will define these three areas based on the population, density of population, revenue generated for local administration, % of employment in Non-agricultural activities and other factors.
Further, a Governor may also if, he fits it necessary, based upon the industrial establishments, If there is an urban area where municipal services are being provided by an industrial establishment, then the governor may specify that area to be an industrial township. In such a case, a municipality may not be constituted.
1. Nagar Panchayat: A Nagar Panchayat is for those areas which are transitional areas i.e. transiting from Rural Areas to Urban areas.
2. Municipal Council: A Municipal council is for smaller urban area
3. Municipal Corporation: A municipal Corporation for Larger Urban Areas
Significance of Urban Local Bodies
- The economic expansion of the country is significantly influenced by cities and towns.
- These metropolitan centres considerably contribute to the rural hinterland’s expansion.
- To keep this economic change in line with needs and realities at the local level, the people and their representatives must be fully involved in the planning and implementation of the programs.
- If democracy is to continue to be strong and stable in the Parliament and State Legislatures, its roots must reach into the towns, villages, and cities where people live.
Article written by: Aseem Muhammed