The intermediate tier in the Panchayat Raj system is known in several states as the Panchayat Samiti. In Madhya Pradesh it is known as Janapad Panchayat, in Gujarat it is known as Taluka Panchayat.
A panchayat Samiti consists of the following four types of members.
i) Elected members
The sarapanchas of the Panchayats in a Block are members of the Panchayat Samiti. Besides each Gram Panchayat sends one elected member to the Panchayat Samiti member.
ii) Associate Members
All the M.L.A. s elected or nominated to the legislature & all the M.P.s elected to the parliament from the area of Block Samiti are the associated members of the Panchayat Samiti. The associate members can attend the meeting & express their views in the meetings of the Samiti but they cannot vote.
iii) Co-opted members
If women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes do not get adequate representation in the Panchayat Samiti through election when the elected members of the Samiti can elect one women & some Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members.
iv) Ex-officio members
The Sub-divisional Magistrate and the Block Dev. Officer are the ex-officio members of the Panchayat Samiti.
The tenure of Panchayat Samiti is fixed by the State Govt. & it is not the same in all the states.
The members of the Panchayat samiti elect a Chairman from among themselves. He presides over the meeting of the samiti. Below the Chairman & Vice –Chairman, the Chairman of the Samiti in Orissa sets a monthly honarium of Rs. 1000/-
The Block Development Officer is the Executive Officer of the Panchayat Samiti. He runs day to day administration of the Samiti. Besides this there is a Panchayat Officer also. The Executive Officer & the Panchayat Officer work in Co-operation with each other.
Powers & functions –
- The Panchayat Samiti looks after the working of Panchayats in area.
- It tries to promote cottage industries in its area.
- It takes steps for the promotion of animal husbandry.
- It makes efforts to project crops from rats & other insects.
- It constructs & maintains roads & bridges in its area.
- It makes Conference-operation to the Conference-operative societies in its area.
- It makes arrangements for village fairs, exhibition & markets.
- It starts community development projects &makes every possible effort for the development of the area.
- It tries to give relief to the people in case of famine drought & floods in its area.
- It maintains & looks after the Government property.
- It maintains a record of births & deaths in its area.
- It maintains playgrounds & gardens.
Sources of Income
- It gets a share of the local taxes imposed in its area.
- It issues various types of license for example; cycle token. It is another source of income.
- It gets financial aid from the Government also.
- Loans are advanced by the Govt. to it.
- Loans are also raised by the Samiti.