Table of Contents
Overview of Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, a cornerstone of the nation’s legal framework since 1973, intricately lays out the powers, responsibilities, and mechanisms governing various aspects of governance. Among its myriad articles, Article 124 stands as a crucial provision, delineating the circumstances under which the provincial government can authorize supplementary and excess grants. This article acts as a financial safety valve, ensuring that the government can respond to unforeseen needs or expenditures not initially foreseen in the Annual Budget Statement.
Article 124 States
124. Supplementary and excess grant
If in respect of any financial year it is found
- that the amount authorized to be expended for a particular service for the current financial year is insufficient, or that a need has arisen for expenditure upon some new service not included in the Annual Budget Statement for that year; or
- that any money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted for that service for that year;
the Provincial Government shall have power to authorize expenditure from the Provincial Consolidated Fund, whether the expenditure is charged by the Constitution upon that Fund or not, and shall cause to be laid before the Provincial Assembly a Supplementary Budget Statement or, as the case may be, an Excess Budget Statement, setting out the amount of that expenditure, and the provisions of Article 120 to 123 shall apply to those statements as they apply to the Annual Budget Statement.
Key Points of Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Financial Flexibility: Article 124 serves as a mechanism to address financial exigencies. It allows the provincial government to tap into the Provincial Consolidated Fund to cover expenditures beyond the originally budgeted amounts.
- Authorization Power: The article vests the provincial government with the authority to sanction supplementary and excess grants, irrespective of whether the Constitution specifically charges that expenditure on the Provincial Consolidated Fund.
- Budgetary Transparency: To ensure transparency and accountability, the provincial government must present either a Supplementary Budget Statement or an Excess Budget Statement to the Provincial Assembly. These statements detail the amount of the additional expenditure and follow the procedures outlined in Articles 120 to 123 of the Constitution.
Crux of Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 124 addresses the inherent challenges of budgetary constraints and unforeseen financial requirements that may arise during the course of a fiscal year. By allowing the provincial government to tap into the Provincial Consolidated Fund, the Constitution ensures a responsive and adaptable financial system.
This provision reflects the framers’ foresight, acknowledging that rigid budgetary allocations may not always align with the evolving needs of governance. Whether it’s addressing an urgent service requirement or covering unexpected excess expenditures, Article 124 serves as a financial safety valve, preventing bureaucratic stagnation.
Conclusion: Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan embodies the principles of financial prudence and adaptability. As an integral component of the 1973 Constitution, it empowers the provincial government to navigate the complexities of fiscal management effectively. By enabling supplementary grants and addressing excess expenditures, this provision ensures that essential services receive the necessary funding, contributing to the overall resilience of the governance system.
In a world where the only constant is change, Article 124 stands as a testament to the framers’ commitment to a constitution that can withstand the test of time. Its nuanced approach to financial matters exemplifies a governance framework designed not just for the present but with a foresight that anticipates the challenges of the future.