A gram panchayat is the cornerstone of a local self-governmnet  organisation in India of the Panchayati raj system at the village or small town level, and has a Sarpanch as its elected head. The role of Panchayat organizations under British Colonial rule were strengthened, but in post-independence they have been given little right of co-determination. The failed attempts to deal with local matters at the national level brought back, in 1992, the reintroduction of panchayats for their previously used purpose as an organization for local self-governance. As of 2002  there were about 265,000 gram panchayats in India. A panchayat is needed for every town and village.


The Sarpanch, or elected head, has the responsibilities of village

  • Maintaining street lights, construction and repair work of roads in villages and also the village markets, fairs, collection of tax, festivals and celebrations
  • Keeping a record of births, deaths and marriages in the village
  • Looking after public health and by providing facilities for sanitation and drinking water
  • Providing free education
  • To organise the meetings of gram sabha  and gram panchayat 
  • Providing health services and facilities
  • Implementing development schemes related to agriculture and animal husbandry
  • Planting trees in and around the village and to protect the environment
  • Maintaining public parks and playgrounds, etc.
  • Implementing various government schemes

Sources of income

The main source of income of the gram panchayat is the property tax levied on buildings and open spaces within the village. Other sources of income include professional tax, taxes on pilgrimage, animal trade, grant received from the State Government in proportion of land revenue and the grants received from the District Councils of India (Zila Parishad).

Functions of Gram Panchayat

  • Supply of water for domestic use
  • Construction and repairs to public roads, drains, small irrigation bandharas
  • Maintaining sanitation and public health
  • Construction, repairing and maintaining public buildings, grazing lands, forest public wells and tanks in good condition
  • Lighting on roads and public places
  • Controlling fairs, bazaars (public market) bullets cart stands
  • Controlling and maintaining village cremation ground and/or cemetery
  • Taking part in Agricultural development
  • Maintaining a library and opening elementary school
  • Providing and maintaining a playground for children
  • Construction and maintaining public latrines
  • Watch and ward work
  • Planting and preservation of trees on the sides of the public roads in the village
  • Collection of taxes
  • Providing recreational facilities through establishment of TV unit
  • Vani (forest) scheme introduced


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Opening Balance
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