Explain the composition of the Parliament of Pakistan and discuss membership, function and power of the National Assembly?
Composition of Parliament
According to section 50 of the constitution, there shall be a Parliament of Pakistan consisting of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the National Assembly and the senate.
The constitution of 1973 by providing bi-cameral legislature has met a long standing demand of the people of the small Provinces. Article 50 proclaims that there shall be a Parliament consisting of the President and two houses to be known as the National Assembly and the Senate.
The national legislature of Pakistan consists of the National Assembly, the senate and the President. In the matter of enactment of law all of them are to act together, each bring complimentary to the other.
The National Assembly consist of 332 members to the Senate 87 members. The national assembly is to be elected on the basis of adult franchise by direct, free and secret vote.
Composition of National Assembly
The National Assembly presently consist of 332 members to be elected on the basis of adult franchise by direct free and secret vote. The seats in the national assembly have been allocated to each Province, the federally administered tribal areas and federal capital on the basis of population.
Qualification of voter – A person is entitled to vote if –
(1). He is a citizen of Pakistan,
(2). He is not less than 18 years of age,
(3). His name appears on the electoral roll and,
(4). He is not declared by a competent court to be unsound mind.
Duration – The term of the National Assembly is 5 years to be counted from the day of its first meeting, after the expiry of which period it will automatically stand dissolved, unless sooner dissolved under Article 58 of the Constitution.
Function and powers
The National Assembly is competent to pass laws on the matters relating to part-I of the federal legislative list. It may also pass laws with regard to matters in part-II of the federal legislative list or the concurrent legislative list. Besides the National Assembly has the power of controlling the finances of the federation. The budget and all proposals for expenditure or taxation are to be submitted to the National Assembly. But certain items of expenditure such as the salaries ad allowance of the President, Judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief election Commissioner and the attorney general are not to be submitted for vote in the National Assembly.
Power to control executive
The National Assembly has also the power to control the Executive. The Ministers are usually to be chosen from the members of the National Assembly and are the Government of the country.
A money bill can only originate in the National Assembly and after it has been passed by it, it is not required to be transmitted to the senate, but is to be presented to the President for his assent.