Village Panchayat of India.
The members of the Gram Sabha are entitled to participate in the election of Panchayats. They elect both the Panch and the Sarpanch. The strength of a Panchayat is minimum 5 and maximum 20. In addition to this there is provision for the co-option of ladies and members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Sarpanch is the executive head of the Panchayat. It has a Secretary. The Panchayat formulates its own budget within its own resources and is the final decision making body. In some of the cases decision is taken by 2/3 majority but usually majority vote is taken as decision of the Panchayat. Sarpanch is answerable to Gram Sabha. It maintains roads and wells, public health services and keeps a record of deaths and births etc. and performs other duties.
Village Panchayat is required to maintain sanitary conditions, provide street lighting, maintain supplies of drinking water, village roads, schools, burial grounds, propagate family welfare programme, open libraries, center for social and child welfare, etc. In fact it is required to perform all such functions with which village as a whole is concerned. It is expected to promote agriculture and animal husbandry. In order to meet expenses it can levy taxes on animals. vehicles, houses and professions. It can also impose tax on transfer of property located in the village and receive fee for the settlement of cases presented to it. The panchayat can impose fines for violation of its laws and thus receives some income in this way.