Friday, July 1, 2011

Devolution process under the 18th Amendment to the Pakistani Constitution

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Section 96 of the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act 2010 (“Amendment”) introduces 270-AA. Article 270-AA (8) reads:

“On the omission of the Concurrent Legislative List, the process of devolution of the matters mentioned in the said legislative list shall be completed by the thirtieth day of June, two thousand and eleven.”

This devolution however has a caveat. This caveat can be found in Article 270-AA (6) which reads:

“Notwithstanding omission of the Concurrent Legislative List by the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010, all laws with respect to any matters enumerated in the said List (including Ordinances, Orders, rules, bye-laws, regulations and notifications and other legal instruments having the force of law) in force in Pakistan or any part thereof, or having extra-territorial operation, immediately before the commencement of the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010, shall continue to remain in force until altered, repealed or amended by the competent authority”.

Article 270-AA (7) reads:

“Notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, all taxes and fees levied under any law in force immediately before the commencement of the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010, shall continue to be levied until they are varied or abolished by an Act of the appropriate legislature”.

Therefore – the operation of certain departments in the federal government seem to find rationale in these clauses regardless of devolution. As per my understanding these are not the only ministries that have been devolved. According to a statement given by Rt. Hon’able Raza Rabbani, Senator and the principal author of the Amendment, as many as 17 ministries have been devolved to the provinces leaving behind only five subjects with the Federal Government:
·         Foreign Affairs,
·         Finance,
·         Defence,
·         Communication; and
·         Revenue

This in my view refers to five broad heads under which 77 federal entries fall.

Devolved Ministries Third Batch:
·         Women development,
·         Minority affairs,
·         Sports,
·         Environment,
·         Health,
·         Food and Agriculture; and
·         Labour and Manpower

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be respectful and you shall be heard.