NEED FOR LOCAL SELF - GOVERNMENT :
The need for local self - government arises out of the growth in size of a modern state and the multiplication of its functions. When the area of a state is too large and the population is too great, it becomes difficult for the government of a state to ably administer the affairs of the state and at the same time look after and attend to the particular needs of a particular are or the people. Problems of a local nature in the vast area must necessarily differ and these cannot be solved by a uniform treatment. It becomes essential, therefore to decentralize power and hand it over to people in these local areas who can look after those affairs with greater interest, enthusiasm and active participation or involvement. They can handle problems like sanitation, water supply, provision of market facilities and primary education and wherever necessary and possible, to provide facilities for education and running of transport in their area more efficiently than if these were to be administered by a central government in a unitary state or by provincial or state government in a federation.
The reason for the existence and the benefits of local self - government are many. According to Gilchrist, in the first place a local self - government is necessary for efficiency. In an are where the people are most interested in certain acts of government, it is in the interests of the people to have these acts performed efficiently. For such efficient performance the people should be able to control those responsible for the work by being able to ensure or dismiss them.
Secondly, economy is secured by local self - government. If certain acts of government benefit only a definite area, obviously the expense of these acts should be borne by that locality. Sometimes it may be necessary for the governments to give grants on certain conditions; or the government many grant power grants on certain conditions; or the government many grant power to a local body to raise a loan for certain specific purposes; or it may have to set a limit to which the local body can tax the residents in its area. Taxation or rating, is the chief method of raising money in local areas. The people who pay rates elect local boards or councils and thus largely controls expenditure as well as managements.
Thirdly, local self - governments acts also as an agency to educate the people in modern representative system of government. In normal modern states the citizen is called upon only occasionally to take a personal part in the direction of national affairs, usually to record a vote at intervals of three to five years. This may lead either to apathy or discontent; but local government provides an actual representative system close at hand on the proper conduct of which the ordinary things of everyday life depend. The citizen thus becomes acquainted with public affairs. Local bodies provide an excellent school of training for the wider affairs of central government.
Fourthly, local self - government shares the burden of the work of the government, where there is no local self - government the governments would have to do everything through its officials. The local self - government also assists the government in the administration and collection of the taxes and revenues for the in its area.
Lastly, the local bodies provide the necessary information and advice on proposed legislation. The advice of the local bodies thus become an important aspect in the formulation of policies of the government and enactment of laws by the legislatures.
The information furnished above the discussion on the meaning and importance of local self - government make it clear, how essential the local bodies are in modern democracies.