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What Does The Chief Minister Do Anyway?

What Does The Chief Minister Do Anyway?


In Pakistan, we are pretty opinionated. We will have an opinion about nearly anything. However, we’re not always sure what we are talking about.

Especially when it comes to politics, everyone has an opinion. But most people have no idea what they are talking about. Like does anyone know what the roles and duties of the Chief Minister are? Or what falls under the jurisdiction of the different roles in the government? So here at ProperGaanda, we decided to see what the role and duties of the Chief Minister are and see what powers he or she is given.

Prime Minister of the province

The easiest way to explain the role of the Chief Minister is with comparison. Within our Westminster style parliament, our chief ministers’ job is to monitor and take care of the province he or she is in charge of. This means that the Chief Minister is in, in theory, the head of government within their own province. So the Chief Minister of Punjab is in charge of all the dealings of Punjab. This means all policy and laws go through the Chief Minister, including Healthcare, education, energy, etc. All these departments fall under the Chief Minister, and it is his job to ensure the policies taken by the provincial government are carried out appropriately.

Furthermore, the Chief Minister has power over his Ministers. He elects advisers, and chooses their portfolios. After the 18th amendment was passed, the governor of a province must act on the advice of the Chief Minister with regards to any policy.

How much autonomy does a chief minister have over his province?

Quite a bit actually. Within our provincial system, our provinces are allowed to choose their own policies with regards a number of different issues like energy, education, etc. As a result, the role of the Chief Minister is a pretty important role. While other members of the provincial assembly require 20% vote to even table a resolution, the Chief Minister does not. However, to pass a bill, the Chief Minister will require a simple majority to get the bill passed, like any other member.

What if you want to remove a Chief Minister?

The same way to remove a Chief Minister is the same way you remove a Prime Minister, through a vote of no confidence. A vote of no confidence will required 20% of the provincial governments vote before it can even be tabled. Or the governor can pass a motion to conduct a vote of no confidence. If the motion is tabled, a simple majority is required to get the motion passed and remove a Chief Minister. However, if a vote of no-confidence fails, there cannot be another vote of no confidence tabled for 6 months.

What have Chief Ministers done for their provinces?

Well that question really depends on who you ask. Shahbaz Shairf, one of Punjab’s most popular Chief Ministers, started the Youth Initiative Program and help build infrastructure all over Lahore, most well-known being the Ring Road. Punjab’s current Chief Minister, Usman Buzdar, has helped initiate Panna Gah’s, Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme Project, Punjab, Anti-Encroachment Drive, Punjab and the Clean & Green Campaign. How effective these polices are will honestly depend on the person in charge, and the priorities of the assembly.