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Compulsory and Voluntary Provisions

Compulsory Provisions

The basic provisions of the Act are divisible into compulsory provisions and voluntary arrangements.

The provisions which the state statutes will have to provide for are:

  1. Creation of a State Elections Commission to conduct elections to PRIs.
  2. In order to review the financial position of the PRIs, each State to set up a State Finance Commission for five years.
  3. Tenure of PRIs fixed at five years and, if dissolved earlier, fresh elections to be held within six months.
  4. Creation of a three-tier Panchayati Raj structure at the zila, block and village levels.
  5. The minimum age for contesting elections to PRIs to be 18 years.
  6. Reservation for women in panchayats (chairman and members) up to one-third seats.
  7. Reservation of seats for SC/ST in panchayats (chairman and members) in proportion to their population.
  8. Indirect elections to the post of chairman at the intermediate and apex tiers.
  9. All posts at all levels (with two exceptions) to be filled by direct elections.
  10. Organisation of gram sabhas.

Voluntary Provisions

As local self-government is an item in the State List, the state governments have been given a reasonable discretion to take decisions in the following areas:

These voluntary provisions vary from state to state:

  1. Voting rights to MPs and MLAs in these bodies,
  2. Reservation for backward classes,
  3. Financial powers,
  4. Autonomy of the Panchayats.
  5. Devolution of powers to perform functions of the Eleventh Schedule and planning.
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