Functions and responsibilities of Gram Sabha
This topic provides information about Duties, Powers and responsibilities of Gram Sabha.
Constitution mentions that Gram Sabha exercises such powers and performs such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide. For instance, they approve of the plans, programmes and projects for social and economic development before such plans, programmes and projects are taken up for implementation by the Panchayat at the village level (Panchayat at the village level is otherwise known as Gram Panchayat). It is also responsible for the identification or selection of persons as beneficiaries under the poverty alleviation and other programmes. Every Panchayat at the village level are required to obtain from the Gram Sabha a certification of utilisation of funds by that Panchayat for such plans, programmes and projects implemented.
Key functions of Gram Sabha
Following are the important and specific functions of Gram Sabha:
- To help implementation of the development programmes and schemes of the Panchayat.
- To identify beneficiaries for different programmes and schemes. However, if the Gram Sabha fails to identify such beneficiaries within a reasonable time, the Gram Panchayat shall identify the beneficiaries.
- To solicit support — in cash or kind or both and voluntary labour — from the public for community welfare programmes.
- To support the programmes of mass education and family welfare.
- To promote unity and harmony among all sections of the society in the village.
- To seek clarification from the Mukhiya, Up-Mukhiya and other members of the Gram Panchayat about any particular activity, scheme, income and expenditure.
- To discuss and recommend appropriate action with regard to reports of the Vigilance Committee.
- Other related matters brought to the notice of the Gram Sabha.
- To consider levy of taxes, rates, rents & fees & enhancement of rates thereof.
- To consider all such matters as may be referred by the Gram Panchayat for its decision.
Role of Sarpanch in Gram Sabha
- Sarpanch is legally bound to organize Gram Sabha meetings.
- It is an obligatory duty of Sarpanch to organize a minimum of two Gram Sabha meetings every year on the dates prescribed by the Government.
- Sarpanch should take steps to ensure larger participation of people at Gram Sabha meetings.
- Sarpanch should take all measures to ensure participation of people from all sections of society mainly, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Women, and he should encourage them to express their grievances and give suggestions in the Gram Sabha, which are discussed in detail in the next meeting.
- Sarpanch should preside over the Gram Sabha meetings, except that of Social Audit Gram Sabha.
- Sarpanch should sign the register meant for recording the minutes of Gram Sabha meeting.
- As the chairperson of the Gram Sabha meeting, the Sarpanch can answer the questions raised at the Gram Sabha by the members.
- The sarpanch has to ensure that the suggestions made in the Gram Sabha meeting, are discussed on priority basis in Gram Panchayat meetings.
- Sarpanch should play a pro-active role for initiating proper action on the Gram Sabha resolutions.
Role of Panchayat Secretary in Gram Sabha
The role of Panchayat Secretary is vital at Gram Sabha. The duties of Panchayat Secretary can broadly be categorized into three stages:
- Pre-Gram Sabha
- During Gram Sabha, and
- Post Gram Sabha
Pre-Gram Sabha duties
The pre Gram Sabha duties of Panchayat Secretary include:
- Finalisation of agenda for Gram Sabha in consultation with the Sarpanch.
- Issuing notice of Gram Sabha meeting.
- Publicising widely the Gram Sabha meeting details, such as the date, time and venue.
- Preparing the Action Taken Report on the resolutions of the previous Gram Sabha meeting.
- Preparation of notes on the agenda items to be placed before the current Gram Sabha meeting.
- Providing proper seating, drinking water facilities and sanitation facilities for people attending the Gram Sabha meeting.
Duties during Gram Sabha
The duties of Panchayat Secretary during the conduct of Gram Sabha include:
- Recording the details of members attending the meeting of Gram Sabha.
- Presenting the Action Taken Report on resolutions of previous Gram Sabha meeting.
- Ensuring the smooth conduct of the meeting of Gram Sabha as per its Agenda.
- Assisting the Sarpanch in recording the minutes of Gram Sabha.
- Recording of votes casted in favour/against of any resolution placed before Gram Sabha
Post Gram Sabha duties
- To coordinate with the Sarpanch and ward members for considering the resolutions of Gram Sabha in Gram Panchayat meetings.
- To send report on the Gram Sabha meeting to the higher officials concerned.