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Overview of Article 118 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Nestled within the constitutional tapestry of Pakistan, Article 118 serves as a cornerstone in the financial architecture of provincial governance. This article, housed in the 1973 Constitution, delineates the establishment of two pivotal financial entities—the Provincial Consolidated Fund and the Public Account. These funds play a crucial role in managing and channeling the fiscal resources of the Provincial Government.
Article 118 States
118. Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account
- All revenues received by the Provincial Government, all loans raised by that Government, and all moneys received by it in repayment of any loan, shall form part of a consolidated fund, to be known as the Provincial Consolidated Fund.
- All other moneys
- received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government; or
- received by or deposited with the High Court or any other court established under the authority of the Province;
shall be credited to the Public Account of the Province.
Key Points of Article 118 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Provincial Consolidated Fund: Article 118(1) stipulates that all revenues received by the Provincial Government, funds raised through loans, and any repayments of loans constitute the Provincial Consolidated Fund. This fund serves as a central repository, pooling together the financial resources vital for the functioning of the Provincial Government.
- Public Account: Public Account of the Province: Article 118(2) describes how a Provincial Public Account should be created. This account encompasses all funds received or deposited by or for the Provincial Government as well as those that come directly under its jurisdiction like court funds and high courts, making up its main source of funding outside of its Consolidated Fund counterpart. It acts as a distinct financial repository.
- Crediting Respective Funds: This article clearly delineates funds, with revenues, loans and loan repayments all going into the Provincial Consolidated Fund, while any funds received by the judiciary would go into the Public Account.
- Ensuring Financial Transparency: One of the fundamental purposes of this Article is to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public finances. By creating distinct funds for specific types of transactions, the provision facilitates effective monitoring and auditing of government expenditures.
Crux of Article 118 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The crux of Article 118 lies in its meticulous delineation of the financial landscape within a province. By establishing the Provincial Consolidated Fund and the Public Account, the article introduces a structured approach to fiscal management, ensuring that different types of financial transactions are appropriately categorized.
The Provincial Consolidated Fund emerges as the heartbeat of the Provincial Government’s financial operations, incorporating revenues, loans, and repayments. This consolidated pool forms the financial backbone necessary for the government’s functioning, policy implementation, and service delivery.
On the other hand, the creation of the Public Account acknowledges the diverse nature of funds that flow into the provincial coffers. This separate account accommodates various financial inflows, offering a nuanced approach to handling funds that do not fall within the scope of the Consolidated Fund.
Conclusion: Article 118 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 118 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan stands as a testament to the foresight of the framers in crafting a robust financial framework for provincial governance. The article’s brilliance lies in its simplicity and precision, offering a clear roadmap for the classification and management of diverse fiscal resources.
As we navigate the intricate contours of the Constitution of Pakistan, Article 118 emerges as a beacon, guiding the prudent stewardship of public finances. It exemplifies the commitment to transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the financial operations of the Provincial Government.
In essence, Article 118 is more than a constitutional provision; it is a testament to the foundational principles that underpin the democratic governance of Pakistan. By establishing the Provincial Consolidated Fund and the Public Account, this article lays the groundwork for a resilient and responsible fiscal management system, ensuring that the financial wheels of governance turn smoothly for the benefit of the people.