With the Promulgation of 73rd Amendment Act, 1992, the A&N Panchayats Regulation was enacted in this UT which marked a new era in the federal democratic set up to provide constitutional status of PRIs. The PRIs are governed by the A&N Islands (Panchayats) Regulation, 1994. The Panchayati Raj System in South Andaman District comprises of three tiers consisting of thirty three(33) Gram Panchayats at village level, four (04) Panchayat Samitis at block level and one (01) Zilla Parishad at District level with the following powers and responsibilities at appropriate levels
- 1. Preparation of the economic development plan and social justice plan.
- 2. Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice in relation to 29 subjects given in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
- 3. To levy and collect appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees.
The basic concept of large scale public participation and with a view to bring about vital development in key areas with focus on weaker areas of operation and for providing clean, transparent and good governance. The main focus lies on the following issues:
- Strengthening of Gram Sabhas for enhancing people's participation in Panchayati Raj and strengthening accountability of PRIs.
- Simplifying the framework for planing, budgeting, project implementation and fund release.
- Enhancing PRIs' role in economic development and poverty alleviation.
- Improving project implementation and maintenance.
- Capacity building for effective performance of PRIs.
- Ensuring effective accounting and audit by adopting regular social audit.
- Strengthening panchayat finances by planning and creating more avenues for own resource mobilization.
- Strengthening District Planning Committees for more effective implementation of plan programmes.
- Conducting various awareness programmes on advanced techniques in various fields like agriculture, water conservation, waste management, social forestry etc. for the benefit of rural population.
- Implementation of UT Plan schemes/all such programmes that pave the way for development and economic growth of the district.
- Introduction of e-Governance at the grass root level for providing clean, transparent and good governance.
The PRIs are presently involved in various developmental activities in the field of Rural Water Supply, Minor Irrigation, Sanitation, Primary Education, Rural Connectivity, infrastructure development for creating new avenues for rural marketing, community infrastructure like Auditrorium, mini-stadium, community halls, multipurpose halls, markets, playground, Anganwadies, Bus Shelters, wash rooms etc. The activities are carried out by the three tiers through grant-in-aid provided under various sectors by the A & N Administration.
Apart from implementing various schemes for rural development, the PRIs also play a vital role in the development of agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, improving supply of drinking water, minor irrigation, sanitation, construction/improvement/repair of rural roads, development of cottage and small scale industries, opening of cooperative societies, establishment youth organisation etc. in coordination with the concerned line departments.