Powers and Responsibilities of Panchayats

State Legislatures may endow Panchayats with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable the Panchayats to become institutions of self-government at the grassroots level.

Gram Panchayat

Responsibility may be given to them to prepare plans for economic development and social justice. Schemes of economic development and social justice with regard to 29 important matters mentioned in XI schedule such as agriculture, primary and secondary education, health and sanitation, drinking water, rural housing, the welfare of weaker sections, social forestry and so forth may be made by them.

Three-tier Structure of Panchayati Raj:
Panchayat Samiti

The second or middle tier of the Panchayati Raj is Panchayat Samiti, which provides a link between Gram Panchayat and a Zila Parishad.
The strength of a Panchayat Samiti also depends on the population in a Samiti area. In Panchayat Samiti, some members are directly elected.Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats.
Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats are ex-officio members of Panchayat Samitis. However, all the Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats are not members of Panchayat Samitis at the same time.
The number varies from State to State and is rotated annually. It means that only chairpersons of some Gram Panchayats in a Samiti area are members of Panchayat Samiti at a time.
In some panchayats, members of Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils, as well as members of Parliament who belong to the Samiti area, are co-opted as its members. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are, elected indirectly- by and from amongst the elected members thereof.

Zila Parishad

Zila Parishad or district Panchayat is the uppermost tier of the Panchayati Raj system.This institution has some directly elected members whose number differs from State to State as it is also based on population. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are ex-officio members of Zila Parishads.
Members of Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and Councils belonging to the districts are also nominated members of Zila Parishads.
The chairperson of a Zila Parishad, called Adhyaksha or President is elected indirectly- by and from amongst the elected members thereof. The vice-chairperson is also elected similarly.Zila Parishad meetings are conducted once a month. Special meetings can also be convened to discuss special matters. Subject committees are also formed.
Zila Parishad meetings are conducted once a month. Special meetings can also be convened to discuss special matters. Subject committees are also formed.