Table of Contents
Overview of Article 120 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, established in 1973, serves as the foundational legal document that governs the nation. Within its intricate framework, Article 120 stands as a pivotal provision outlining the procedures and principles governing the annual financial planning and reporting of provincial governments.
Article 120 States
120. Annual Budget Statement
- The Provincial Government shall, in respect of every financial year, cause to be laid before the Provincial Assembly a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Provincial Government for that year, in this Chapter referred to as the Annual Budget Statement.
- The Annual Budget Statement shall show separately :-
- the sums required to meet expenditure described by the Constitution as expenditure charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund; and
- the sums required to meet other expenditure proposed to be made from the Provincial Consolidated Fund;
and shall distinguish expenditure on revenue account from other expenditure.
Key Points of Article 120 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Mandatory Submission: The crux of 120th Article mandates that the Provincial Government must present an Annual Budget Statement to the Provincial Assembly for each financial year.
- Contents of the Annual Budget Statement: The statement must provide a detailed account of the estimated receipts and expenditures for the specific financial year, offering a comprehensive overview of the fiscal landscape.
- Classification of Expenditure: The Annual Budget Statement categorizes expenditure into two distinct groups. Firstly, it covers expenditures charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund, as dictated by the Constitution. Secondly, it addresses other expenditures that require approval from the Provincial Consolidated Fund.
- Distinguishing Types of Expenditure: The statement is meticulous in distinguishing between expenditure on revenue account and other types of expenditure. This differentiation provides a nuanced understanding of the government’s financial priorities, separating day-to-day operational costs from other strategic investments.
Crux of Article 120 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 120 embodies the principles of fiscal responsibility and transparency. By stipulating the preparation and presentation of the Annual Budget Statement, the provision ensures that the government’s financial activities are not only documented but also subject to scrutiny and approval by the Provincial Assembly.
The constitutional mandate to separate expenditures charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund from other proposed expenditures reflects a strategic approach to financial governance. It streamlines the budgetary process, ensuring that constitutional obligations are met while allowing flexibility in allocating resources for other essential initiatives.
Conclusion: Article 120 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 120 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 serves as a cornerstone in the nation’s financial governance. By delineating the requirements for the Annual Budget Statement, it establishes a framework that promotes fiscal responsibility, accountability, and strategic financial planning.
The meticulous classification of expenditures and the emphasis on transparency underscore the commitment to sound financial management. As the Constitution of Pakistan continues to guide the nation, this Article stands as a testament to the importance of prudent fiscal practices in building a stable and prosperous future.