Government Control over Local Government



Although the 74th Amendment of the Constitution has granted sufficient autonomy to urban local institutions and these have been accorded constitutional status, these are not completely free from governmental control. The urban local government institutions work within the limits prescribed by the State municipal Act which creates and governs them.

1. Legislative Control:

Urban Local bodies are set up by the laws passed by the legislature. Government can bring changes in their organisation, powers and functions through a law passed by the legislature.

2. Financial Control:

Government undertakes the audit of the accounts of urban local bodies from time to time for checking irregularities committed by these institutions while spending money. For raising loans from the financial institutions. Municipal Councils have to seek the prior approval of the government.

3. Control through Government Officials:

Executive Officers of urban local bodies are government officials and the government exercises its control over these bodies through these officials. Executive Officer and the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation are the key instruments of governmental control over the urban local bodies. The Director Urban Local Bodies also performs such a role.

4. Power to dismiss the Urban Local Institutions:

Under 74th amendment to the Constitution, these institutions have been given a stable 5 years tenure. However, even then, if in the opinion of the government, an institution is not competent to perform its duties or persistently makes default in the performance of duties, the government can dismiss it even before the expiry of its term.

5. Administrative Control:

(i) The Government can seek any report, record or information from the Municipal councils and corporations,

(ii) The government can appoint any officer of its own to scrutinize and examine the work done by a Municipal Corporation Council,

(iii) The sanction in respect of the bye-laws passed by a Municipal Corporation/Council has to be obtained from the government.

Thus, Indian Political system has within it a well-organised and well-functioning systems of rural and urban local government. These grass root level local government institutions serve as instruments for providing political education and training to the people of India as well as these act as very useful means for securing the socio-economic development of Indian villages and cities.

No doubt their working has not been fully successful in securing the desired goals, nevertheless, they have the potential to develop and become stronger and efficient organs of local development with local resources, local efforts and through local representatives.

The Constitution 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts have made a bold attempt to ensure their continuity, stability, representativeness and autonomy with a view to enable them function as valuable systems of self-governance.

However, there is still present the need to make the working of local self-government system really efficient and productive. The people must come forward to be more willing and active partners in the working of local institutions. No system of local government can really work without peoples total commitment to work it as their system of self-government for meeting their respective local needs with the help of local resources and efforts.

Since 2006 a separate central ministry-the Panchyati Raj Ministry has been working. It has been continuously monitoring the working of Panchayati Raj institutions. It has the responsibility to suggest national Level consensus based reforms for making Pachayati Raj an effective and efficient system of local Government.