FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSEMBLY
The Assembly, in addition to making and unmaking the Provincial Government, performs the following functions −
- Overseeing the Government; and
- Financial Accountability.
Powers and Limitations
The Provincial Assembly is empowered to make laws for the Province of the Punjab with respect to criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence and any matter not enumerated in the Federal Legislative List. It cannot, however, make any law −
- which is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah; or
- which is repugnant to any provision of the Constitution;
- which is inconsistent with a federal law; or
- which violates or contravenes any of the fundamental rights; or
- which is not in consonance with the Principles of Policy.
(b) Overseeing the Government
Various parliamentary tools have been provided in the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab 1997 for obtaining necessary information about the working of the Government Departments, for overseeing the Government, and for making recommendations on matters of general public importance; viz.- Assembly Questions, Call Attention Notices, Adjournment Motions, Resolutions and General Discussion.
(c) Financial Accountability
Mode of Financial Accountability
The Assembly exercises its control over the financial affairs of the Government in two ways; viz consideration as well as approval of the budget and consideration of the Reports of the Auditor General of Pakistan by Public Accounts Committees.
The Assembly holds discussion for at least four days in a session which is held during the months of January to March each year, inviting proposals from the Members for the next year’s budget. The proposals are sent to the Government through a resolution of Assembly.
Passing of Budget
A Provincial Government is required to lay a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Provincial Government known as ‘Annual Budget Statement’ for the next financial year before the Assembly. The Budget is presented to the Assembly on such day and at such time as the Governor may appoint. The Finance Minister, or a Minister acting on his behalf, presents the Budget. The Budget is not referred to any Committee, and the Assembly considers it in two stages −
- general discussion on the Budget as a whole; and
- discussion and voting on demands for grants, including voting on motions for reduction, if any.