The present set up of Zilla Parishad was introduced in the year 1978. It is an elected body (Local Self Government). Election is held as per Sec. 141 of West Bengal Panchayat Act 1973 every five years. Prior to the present set up it was named as District Board.
Under three-tier system of democratic decentralization, Zilla Parishad is the apex body at the district level followed by Panchayat Samitis at Block level as second-tier and Gram Panchayats, the third-tier.
Hooghly Zilla Parishad, in the areas of Rural Development, has definitely made various contributions by way of extending financial, technical and moral support to the Panchayat Samities and Gram Panchayats of this district on the one hand, and on the other by successful implementation of different development programmes sponsored by the State Government and the Government of India even at the remotest villages of this district.