Gram sabha is defined in the constitution under article 243b. It is the primary body of the panchayati Raj system. It is the sabha of electorate.
Functions of Gram Sabha:
- Considers the annual budget of the Panchayat.
- Consider the annual admin report of the panchayats
- Consider proposal for enhancement of taxes and fresh taxation
- In many states it is involved in the selection of schemes, identification of beneficiaries.
- It also carry out the social audit of the schemes.
- In many states like MP, Rajasthan , Chattisgarh Gram sabha has been given the power of recall.
Challenges faced by GS:
- Large size of gram sabha
- Lack of awareness among villagers.
- Irregular meetings.
- Gram panchayats heads often held meeting at critical points during the year to avoid a situation where too many questions are asked like peak sowing season or peak harvest season.
- The agenda hijacked by the dominant caste groups.
- Poor participation of women.
There shall be involvement of credible NGO’s in managing Gram Sabha meetings. Mandatory provisions for holding meetings and an effective mechanism to ensure this. There shall be appropriate arrangement for regular flow of information from panchayat to the gram sabha.