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Overview of Article 126 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Nestled within the intricate framework of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan is Article 126, a provision that addresses the complexities arising during the dissolution of the Provincial Assembly. This constitutional clause grants the Provincial Government the authority to authorize expenditures from the Provincial Consolidated Fund, ensuring a delicate balance between governance continuity and procedural integrity.
Article 126 States
126. Power to authorise expenditure when Assembly stands dissolved
Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions relating to financial matters, at any time when the Provincial Assembly stands dissolved, the Provincial Government may authorize expenditure from the Provincial Consolidated Fund in respect of the estimated expenditure for a period not exceeding four months in any financial year, pending completion of the procedure prescribed in Article 122 for the voting of grants and the authentication of the schedule of authorized expenditure in accordance with the provisions of Article 123 in relation to the expenditure.
Key Points of Article 126 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Authority in Assembly Dissolution: The crux of Article 126 lies in conferring authority upon the Provincial Government to authorize expenditures when the Provincial Assembly is dissolved. This ensures that essential government functions can continue even in the absence of a functioning Assembly.
- Temporal Limit of Four Months: The provision places a temporal limitation, allowing the authorization of expenditures for a period not exceeding four months in any financial year. This temporal constraint prevents extended financial decision-making without the oversight of a duly constituted Assembly.
- Pending Formal Procedures: The authorization under this Article is temporary and pending the completion of formal budgetary procedures outlined in other constitutional provisions. This includes the voting of grants (Article 122) and the authentication of the schedule of authorized expenditure (Article 123).
Crux of Article 126 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, 126th Article is a nuanced response to the challenges posed by the dissolution of the Provincial Assembly. It acknowledges that governance must continue even during transitional phases and provides a mechanism for the Provincial Government to access funds for essential services. The four-month limitation ensures that this authority is exercised with due consideration for the temporary nature of governance during assembly dissolution.
Article No. 126 underscores the delicate balance between continuity of governance and the adherence to formal procedures. While it allows for flexibility during transitions, it reinforces the importance of completing the formal budgetary processes once the Assembly is reconstituted.
Conclusion: Article 126 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 126 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan exemplifies the constitutional foresight embedded in the nation’s governance framework. By granting the Provincial Government the authority to authorize expenditures during Assembly dissolution, the constitution ensures that the wheels of governance keep turning even in times of political flux.
This provision is not a carte blanche for unrestricted financial decisions but rather a carefully calibrated response to the unique challenges of transitional periods. The four-month temporal limitation serves as a safeguard, preventing prolonged reliance on temporary financial measures.