What are financial & constituent powers & functions of the Parliament?

Q.  Which of the following are financial and constituent powers and functions of the Parliament?

1) No tax can be levied without approval of Parliament.
2) Constitution can be amended only by the Parliament.
3) Budget has to be approved by the Parliament.

- Published on 03 Mar 17

a. 1, 2
b. 2, 3
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
    Financial Powers and Functions

  • No tax can be levied or collected and no expenditure can be incurred by the Executive except under the authority and with the approval of Parliament.

  • The enactment of the budget by the Parliament legalizes the receipts and expenditure of the government for the ensuing financial year.

  • The Parliament also scrutinizes government spending and financial performance with the help of its financial committees.

  • They bring out the cases of illegal, irregular, unauthorized, improper usage and wastage and extravagance in public expenditure.

  • Parliamentary control over the Executive in financial matters operates in 2 stages -

    1. Budgetary control i.e., control before the appropriation of grants through the enactment of the budget.

    2. Post-budgetary control i.e., control after the appropriation of grants through the three financial committees.

  • The budget is based on the principle of annuality, that is, the Parliament grants money to the government for one financial year.

  • If the granted money is not spent by the end of the financial year, then the balance expires and returns to the Consolidated Fund of India. This is ‘rule of lapse’.

  • It facilitates effective financial control by the Parliament as no reserve funds can be built without its authorization.

  • However, the observance of this rule leads to heavy rush of expenditure towards the close of the financial year. This is popularly called as ‘March Rush’.

  • Constituent Powers and Functions -

  • The Parliament is vested with the powers to amend the Constitution by way of addition, variation or repeal of any provision.

  • The major part of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament with special majority, that is, a majority (that is, more than 50 per cent) of the total membership of each House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting in each House.

  • Some other provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament with simple majority, that is, a majority of the members present and voting in each House of Parliament.

  • Only a few provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament (by special majority) and with the consent of at least half of the state Legislatures (by simple majority).

  • The power to initiate the process of the amendment of the Constitution (in all the three cases) lies exclusively in the hands of the Parliament and not the state legislature.

  • There is only one exception, that is, the state legislature can pass a resolution requesting the Parliament for the creation or abolition of the legislative council in the state.

  • Based on the resolution, the Parliament makes an act for amending the Constitution to that effect.

  • The constituent power of the Parliament is not unlimited and is subject to the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution.

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