The Gram Sabha constitutes the lowest tier of the Panchayati Raj. Each village with a population of 200 or more has a Gram Sabha.
For a cluster of very small villages a common Gram Sabha can be created.
Composition of Gram Sabha:
It consists of all the eligible voters living in the area of a Gram Panchayat, which extends over a village or a group of villages.
The grama Sabha is now recognized as a statutory body in all States. In some States the Panchayat Acts provide for giving membership of Gram Sabha to all the adults living the panchayat area.
Functions of Gram Sabha:
The main work allocated to the Gram Sabha are the consideration of the annual statement of accounts, and auditing report of the Gram Panchayat, the administrative report of the preceding year, the programme of work for the ensuing year, the taxation proposals and any other specific scheme of a developmental nature involving community service, and voluntary labour.
Panchayat Act of a state usually provides that the Sabha shall at its first meeting consider the budget prepared by the Gram Panchayat and at its second meeting considers the reports of the working of the Gram Panchayat and draws out development plans for the Sabha area.
In Orissa, Palli Sabha can recommend to the Gram Panchayat the development work which should be undertaken for execution and also suggests the imposition of enhanced labour-tax on the able-bodied persons living within the Gram Panchayat area. The Gram Sabha, constitutes the very base of Panchayati Raj system and as such is a vital institution capable of exerting a big influence on the Gram Panchayat.