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Overview of Article 85 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In the intricate tapestry of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, Article 85 stands as a crucial provision, addressing the pragmatic need for financial flexibility within the governance framework. This blog post aims to unravel the nuances of Article 85, delving into its purpose, key points, and implications for effective fiscal management.
Article 85 States
85. Votes on Account.
Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions relating to financial matters, the National Assembly shall have power to make any grant in advance in respect of the estimated expenditure for a part of any financial year, not exceeding four months, pending completion of the procedure prescribed in Article 82 for the voting of such grant and the authentication of the schedule of authorized expenditure in accordance with the provisions of Article 83 in relation to the expenditure.
Key Points of Article 85 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Temporary Granting Authority: Article 85 empowers the National Assembly to make grants in advance, known as “Votes on Account,” for a limited period not exceeding four months. This temporary measure provides financial support to the government before the completion of the standard budget approval procedures.
- Purposeful Provision: The provision recognizes the practical necessity of ensuring continuous government operations, especially in situations where the formal budget approval process may take time. It serves as a bridge, allowing the government to access funds while adhering to constitutional procedures.
- Pending Completion of Procedure: The authority to grant Votes on Account is applicable while the standard voting procedure for the grant, as outlined in Article 82, is still underway. This emphasizes the provisional nature of this financial mechanism.
- Authentication of Expenditure: Article 85 stresses the importance of transparency by requiring the authentication of the schedule of authorized expenditure in accordance with the provisions of Article 83. This ensures accountability in financial matters even during the interim period.
Crux of Article 85 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 85 embodies the delicate balance between financial prudence and the exigencies of governance. By allowing for the granting of Votes on Account, the Constitution acknowledges the dynamic nature of government operations and the need for flexibility in managing finances.
The provision recognizes that budgetary delays should not impede essential government functions. It provides a legal mechanism for securing temporary funds, ensuring that crucial services continue without interruption during the initial months of a financial year. This adaptive approach showcases the framers’ foresight in creating a constitution that caters to the practical challenges of governance.
Conclusion: Article 85 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 85 of the Constitution of Pakistan plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of government services. By allowing for Votes on Account, it addresses the immediate financial needs of the government, offering a practical solution to bridge the gap between fiscal years. This provision, rooted in the principles of financial prudence and accountability, stands testament to the resilience and adaptability of Pakistan’s constitutional framework.
Understanding the significance of Article 85 provides valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms that underpin fiscal governance. It reflects the commitment to a governance system that not only upholds constitutional principles but also navigates the practical challenges of governing a dynamic nation.