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Overview of Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, established in 1973, is the supreme legal document governing the country. Among its many articles, Article 84 holds particular significance, outlining procedures for supplementary and excess grants. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of Article 84, shedding light on its key points and implications.
Article 84 States
84. Supplementary and excess grants.
If in respect of any financial year it is found-
- a) 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
- (b) 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 Federal Government shall have power to authorize expenditure from the Federal Consolidated Fund, whether the expenditure is charged by the Constitution upon that Fund or not, and shall cause to be laid before the National 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 Articles 80 to 83 shall apply to those statements as they apply to the Annual Budget Statement.
Key Points of Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Insufficient Allocation: If the authorized expenditure for a service in the current financial year is found to be insufficient, this Article empowers the Federal Government to supplement the allocated budget.
- New Service Requirement: In cases where a new service’s expenditure arises during the financial year, and it wasn’t initially included in the Annual Budget Statement, Article 84 allows the Federal Government to allocate funds for this new service.
- Excess Expenditure: If money has been spent on a service in excess of the allocated amount for that financial year, it permits the Federal Government to authorize additional expenditure from the Federal Consolidated Fund.
- Budget Statements: The Federal Government, in such circumstances, is obligated to present either a Supplementary Budget Statement or an Excess Budget Statement to the National Assembly. This statement details the additional expenditure and is subject to the same rules as the Annual Budget Statement.
- Application of Articles 80 to 83: Articles 80 to 83 of the Constitution apply to Supplementary and Excess Budget Statements under Article 84, outlining the rules and procedures governing these financial matters.
Crux of Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 84 serves as a financial safeguard, allowing the government flexibility in managing budgetary constraints and responding to unforeseen financial needs. By providing a legal mechanism for addressing insufficient allocations and excess expenditures, this constitutional provision ensures the smooth functioning of government services without being hampered by budgetary limitations.
The authority granted to the Federal Government to draw from the Federal Consolidated Fund, irrespective of whether the expenditure is constitutionally charged to that fund or not, highlights the practical and adaptive nature of this Article. It reflects the framers’ foresight in recognizing the dynamic nature of governance and the need for flexibility in financial matters.
Conclusion: Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan plays a crucial role in the financial management of the country. It not only empowers the government to address budgetary shortfalls and unexpected expenditures but also ensures transparency through the presentation of Supplementary and Excess Budget Statements to the National Assembly. This constitutional provision stands as a testament to the framers’ commitment to creating a robust and adaptable legal framework for the governance of Pakistan.
As we navigate the complexities of governance, Article 84 remains a cornerstone, providing the necessary tools to address financial challenges effectively. Understanding its nuances is essential for comprehending the intricate workings of the constitutional and financial systems that underpin the democratic fabric of Pakistan.