Urban Administration and 74th Amendment

The 74th amendment (1993) has changed the whole local urban administration, giving a new structure and a new orientation to its organization, functions and finances. The amendment has added 12th Schedule in the Constitution. Part IX A, in Articles from 243P to 243ZA deals with municipal institutions. Articles 243P defines municipalities, committees etc:

By 'committee' means committee as constituted under Article 243S; 'metropolitan' area means area having a population of ten lakhs or more comprising one or more districts and consisting of two or more municipalities or panchayats; 'municipal area' means the territorial area of municipalities; 'municipalities' mean institutions of self-government; 'nagar panchayat' means a transitional area, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area. 'Municipal council' is for a smaller urban area and 'corporation', for a larger urban area. Some major articles relating to the urban institution are: 243Q.

Constitution of Municipalities

There shall be constituted in every State,

(a) a Nagar Panchayat (by whatever name called) for a transitional area, that is to say, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area;

(b) a Municipal Council for a smaller urban area; and

(c) a Municipal Corporation for a larger urban area, in accordance with the provisions of this Part: 243R.

Composition of Municipalities

  1. All the seats in Municipality shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from the territorial constituencies in the Municipal area and for this purpose each Municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards.
  2. The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide the following:

(a) For the representation in a Municipality of

(i) persons having special knowledge or experience in Municipal administration;

(ii) the members of the House of the People and the members of the Legislative Assembly of the State representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly the municipal area;

(iii) the member of the Council of States and the members of the Legislative Council of the State registered as electors within the Municipal area;

(iv) the Chairpersons of the Committees constituted under clause (5) of article 243S provided that the persons referred to in paragraph (i) shall not have the right to vote in the meetings of the Municipalities;

(b) the manner of election of the Chairperson of a Municipality.

243S-Constitution and composition of Wards Committees

There shall be constituted Wards Committee, consisting of one or more wards, within the territorial area of a Municipality having a population of three lakhs or more. The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect to:

(a) the composition and the territorial area of a Wards Committee;

(b) the manner in which the seats in a Ward Committee shall be filled.

A member of a Municipality representing a ward within the territorial area of the Wards Committee shall be a member of that Committee.

Where a Wards Committee consists of: (a) One ward, the member representing that ward in the Municipality; or (b) Two or more wards, one of the members representing such wards in the Municipality elected by the members of the Wards Committee, shall be the Chairperson of that Committee. 243T.

Reservation of Seats

  1. Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in every Municipality and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in that Municipality as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the Municipal area or of the Scheduled Tribes in the Municipal area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.
  2. Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes or, as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes.
  3. Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.
  4. The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
  5. The reservation of seats under clause (1) and (2) above and the reservation of offices of Chairpersons (other than the reservation for women) under clause (4) shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period specified in Article 334.
  6. Nothing in this part shall prevent the Legislature of a State from making any provision for reservation of seats in any Municipality or offices of Chairpersons in the municipalities in favour of backward class of citizens. 243U. Duration and Elections of municipalities, etc.' Every Municipality, unless sooner dissolved under any law for the time being in force, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer provided that a Municipality shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before its dissolution. No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the effect of causing dissolution of a Municipality at any level, which is functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of its duration specified in clause (1).
  7. An election to constitute a Municipality shall be completed: (a) before the expiry of its duration specified in clause (1); (b) before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution provided that 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 under this clause for constituting the Municipality for such period.
  8. A Municipality constituted upon the dissolution of a Municipality before the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Municipality would have continued under clause (1) had it not been so dissolved. 243V. Deals with the disqualifications for memberships 243W.

Powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, endow:

(a) the Municipalities with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government and such law may contain provisions for the devolution of powers and responsibilities upon Municipalities, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, with respect to: (i) the preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; (ii) the performance of functions and the implementation of schemes as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule;

(b) Committees with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to carry out the responsibilities conferred upon them including those in relation to the matters listed in the 12th Schedule. 243X. Power to impose taxes by and functions of Municipalities'The Legislature of a State may, by law, authorize a Municipality to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and limit laid down the legislature; or, assign to a municipality certain taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by State Government subject to such conditions and limits laid down by the government; the state legislature may: (a) provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Municipalities from the Consolidated Fund of the State; and (b) provide for constitution of such funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Municipalities and also for withdrawal of such moneys therefrom, as may be specified in the law.

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