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Introduction

The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Indian constitution, passed in 1992, established local self-governance through the creation of panchayats (at the village, block, and district level) and municipalities.

Despite these constitutional reforms, local governments in India, particularly municipalities, are often seen as ineffective in addressing basic needs such as reliable water supply and walkable footpaths.

Discretion given to states in devolving powers and levying local taxes

The 74th amendment to the Indian constitution, passed in 1992, established municipalities as a form of local self-governance. However, it gives discretion to states in terms of devolving powers and functions to municipalities, as well as in the levying of local taxes. This can lead to unequal distribution of powers and resources among municipalities within a state.

Failure to fully implement and interpret the amendment

State governments and courts have not always fully implemented and interpreted the 74th amendment in letter and spirit, leading to its limited success in achieving its goals of decentralization and empowerment of local self-governance.

Insufficient financial resources

The central government has not provided sufficient financial resources to local governments, leading to their inability to carry out their mandated functions and meet the needs of citizens.

Capacity building challenges for local government officials

Local government officials may lack the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively carry out their duties, leading to challenges in implementing the 74th amendment.

Low levels of citizen participation

There may be low levels of citizen participation in local governance, leading to a lack of accountability and transparency in the decision-making process.

Conclusion

Local self-governance in India faces several challenges and limitations, including the discretion given to states, lack of full implementation and interpretation of the amendments, insufficient financial resources, capacity building challenges for local officials, and low levels of citizen participation. In order to address these issues and revive the idea of local self-governance in India, it may be necessary to reexamine the amendments and make efforts to fully implement and interpret them, review the financial resources provided to local governments, increase capacity building and citizen participation, and address other limitations and challenges.

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