India has a parliamentary system of government. The Indian Parliament has a bicameral legislature consisting of two houses; the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The basic function of Parliament is to make laws, amend them or repeal them. The legislative procedure is identical in both the Houses of Parliament. Every bill has to pass through the same stages in each house. All legislative proposals have to brought before the Parliament in the form of Bills. A bill is a statue in the draft form and cannot become a law unless it has received the approval of both the Houses of Parliament and the assent of the President of India. Article 107- 122 are mentioned in Chapter II (Parliament) in Part V (Union) of the Constitution of India. These articles deal mainly with the subject of the various types of bills in the Parliament as well as the procedure for passing of the bills.
Article 107: Introducing and Passing of Bills
A bill may originate in either house of Parliament. It shall not to be deemed to have been passed by the Houses of Parliament unless agreed by both.
A pending bill shall not lapse by reason of the prorogation of the Houses. A pending bill in the Rajya Sabha which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha shall not lapse on a dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
Article 108: Joint Sitting of Both Houses
The President has the authority to summon the houses for a joint sitting in case there is any disagreement between both the houses in any of the following ways: –
- Bill has been rejected by either house .
- Either house has disagreed with the proposed amendments to the bill.
- A time frame of more than six months lapse from the date of reception of the bill by either house
No such sitting can be made by the President if the bill has already been lapsed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. The speaker will preside at the joint sitting. Nothing in this clause is applicable to a Money Bill or Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Article 109: Procedure with respect to Money Bill
A money bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha. After the money bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha it shall be transmitted the Rajya Sabha for recommendations. The Rajya Sabha is bound to return the bill along with the recommendations to the Lok Sabha within fourteen days from the date of receipt of the bill. If the bill is not returned within the said time period, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses at the expiration of such period in the form passed by the Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha may then either accept or reject all or any such recommendations. In case the Lok Sabha accepts any recommendations, the Money Bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses. In case the Lok Sabha does not accept any of the recommendations, the Money Bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses without any recommendations from the Rajya Sabha.
Article 110: Money Bill
As per this section, a bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains only provisions dealing with any of the following matters:
- Imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax
- Borrowing by the union of government
- Audit of accounts of union or states
- Appropriation of funds from the consolidated fund of India
- Payment into or withdrawal from the consolidated fund of India
- Declaration of amount charged on consolidated fund
- Receipts of money on account of consolidated fund or public account of India
The speaker of the Lok Sabha is assigned to duty to decide whether a bill is a money bill or not, and his decision shall be final. The President has the authority to accept or reject the money bill but cannot return it for consideration.
Article 111: Assent to Bills
When a bill has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament, it has to be presented before the President for his assent. The President can give his assent to the bill or withhold is assent to the bill. In
Article 112: Annual Financial Statement
The Annual Financial Statement shows the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India in a financial year.
Expenditure comprises of two types- First, Expenditure charged on the consolidated fund of India and Second, Expenditure made from the consolidated fund of India.
Expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India includes: –
(i) the salaries and allowances of the President and other related office expenditure
(ii) the salaries and allowances of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the council of states and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the house of the people
(iii) the debt charges for which the Government of India is liable including interest, sinking fund charges, redemption charges and other expenditure declared by the Parliament
(iv) the salaries, allowances, pension payable to judges of the Supreme Court; pension payable to judges of Federal Court; pension payable to judges of High Court; salary, allowance and pension payable to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India; sums required to satisfy judgement, decree or award of any court
Article 113: Procedure with respect to Estimates
The estimates related to expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India shall not be submitted to vote of parliament. However, nothing in this clause can prevent the discussion in either house of Parliament with regards to the estimates.
The estimates related to other expenditure shall be submitted in the form of demands for grants to the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha then has the power to assent or refuse to any demand or subject it to a reduction in amount specified.
No demand for grant shall be made except on recommendation of President.
Article 114: Appropriation Bills
As per this Article, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund of India only after the approval from the Parliament. The amount withdrawn is used to meet expenditure of the current financial year.
No amendment can be proposed to an Appropriation Bill which will have effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of any grant. The decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha as to whether such amendment is admissible is final.
Article 115: Supplementary, Additional or Excess Grants
When the authorized grants fall short of the required expenditure, an estimate in presented before the Parliament for Supplementary Grant.
In case there is a need arisen during the current financial year for additional expenditure upon some new service, that was not estimated in the budget for that year, an Additional Grant is then presented.
An Excess Grant is presented when the money has been spent on any service during that financial year in excess for the amount allotted for that service in that year.
Article 116: Votes on account, Votes of credit and Exceptional grants
The Lok Sabha has the power to make any Grant in Advance with respect to the estimated expenditure for a part of the financial year pending the completion of the procedure prescribed in Article 113 (procedure with respect to estimates) and passing the law with the provisions of Article 114(appropriation bills) in relation to the expenditure. This provision is termed as ‘vote on account’.
Vote of Credit is granted to meet an unexpected demand upon the resources of India, when on account of the magnitude or indefinite character of the service, the demand cannot be states with details ordinarily given in an annual financial statement. It is like a blank cheque given to the Executive by the Lok Sabha.
An Exceptional Grant is granted for a special purpose. It forms no part of the current service of any financial year. The Parliament has the power to authorize by law the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India for the purpose of such grants.
Article 117: Special Provisions with respect to Financial Bills
A financial bill shall not be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. No recommendation shall be required for the moving of an amendment making provision for the reduction or abolition of any tax.
A bill that involves expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India shall not be passed by either House of Parliament unless the President has recommended to that house the consideration of the bill.
Article 118: Rules of Procedure
Subject to provisions of the Constitution, each House of Parliament is given authority to make rules for its regulation, procedure and the conduct of its business.
After consultation with the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the President may make rules with respect to the conduct of joint sittings.
Article 119: Regulation by Law of Procedure in Parliament with relation to Financial Business
For the purpose of timely completion of financial business, the Parliament has the authority to regulate by law the procedure and the conduct of business in, each House of Parliament with respect to any financial matter or any bill for appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
Article 120: Language to be used in Parliament
The proceedings in the Parliament shall be conducted in Hindi or English. However, if a person is unable to express himself in the prescribed language, then, with the permission of either the Chairman of Rajya Sabha or Speaker of Lok Sabha, he may express himself in his mother- tongue.
Article 121: Restriction on Discussion in Parliament
The Constitution prohibits discussion of the conduct of any Judge of the High or Supreme Court in the discharge of his duties within the Parliament. However, a motion may be presented with an address to the President praying for the removal of the Judge.
Article 122: Courts not Inquire into Proceedings of the Parliament
This Article mandates the courts not to inquire into proceedings of the Parliament. No member of Parliament who has been vested with powers under the Constitution for regulating or conducting business in Parliament, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court.
Parliament is the ultimate authority when it comes to finance. The Executive cannot spend a single rupee without parliamentary approval. The Public Accounts Committee and The Estimates Committee, are two standing committees that keep a check on how the Executive spends the allotted money. The Parliament exerts budgetary as well as non- budgetary control on the government.
Author: Arisia K,