18th Amendment: Governor`s powers transferred to CM
By Intikhab Hanif
LAHORE: The Punjab government business being conducted in the name of the governor stood transferred on Friday to the chief minister in the light of the 18th Amendment after the province notified its new set of rules of business, Dawn has learnt.
The rules were notified by the cabinet wing of the provincial government and have been amended under the 18th Amendment. This has made Punjab the first province where the functions or powers of the governor have been transferred to the chief minister.
The cabinet wing has been working on the rules for the past many months and one view is that Punjab government’s clashes with former PPP governor Salmaan Taseer made it quickly avail the opportunity of assuming governor’s functions provided by the 18th Amendment.
The Punjab cabinet has approved the rules of business in its meeting a few days ago.
According to officials, constitutional disparities regarding the distribution of power between the governor and the chief executive have been restored by the 18th Amendment, restoring the pre-1985 position. Previously, the constitution empowered the governor to frame the rules for transaction of the business of the government. Now, this authority has been shifted to the chief minister.
The new rules of business also carry procedural amendments, updating procedures of all the provincial departments.
The rules have, for the first time, all laws of all departments (505 in number) in its Second Schedule which mentions functions of the departments.
In the rules of business, linguistic adjustments have been made for clarity. All schedules have been revised indicating re-composition of the departments. The four abolished departments – tourism, sports, information technology and commerce and investment – have been omitted, and a new energy department has been created. The Education Department has been bifurcated into higher and school education departments.
All autonomous bodies, attached departments, and special institutions of all administrative departments have been updated. The companies created by the government have been made a part of the rules of business.
All the 47 federal subjects being transferred to the province in the light of the 18th Amendment have been mentioned in them, and the departments’ obsolete functions deleted.
Legislation, policy formulation, sectoral planning, budget, accounts and audit matters, service except those entrusted to the Services and General Administration are new functions of all administrative departments.