Categories of ministers
There are also three categories of ministers in the Council of Ministers of the states –
cabinet minister cabinet member
The members of the cabinet are the most important and the policy of governance is determined collectively by the cabinet itself.
At the second level, there are ministers of state, some ministers of state independently get the position of head of a department and some ministers of state help in the work of cabinet ministers.
The Minister of State is followed by the Deputy Minister who acts as an assistant to the Cabinet Minister.
The difference between the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet can be understood only on the basis of the categories of the ministers.
The ministers of the first level are collectively called cabinet or cabinet and the ministers of all three levels are collectively called council of ministers, thus cabinet or cabinet is a small but very important unit, the council of ministers is a big unit.
Tenure of council of ministers
The tenure of the Council of Ministers depends on the confidence of the Legislative Assembly. Normally, the maximum term of the Council of Ministers can be 5 years because the term of the Legislative Assembly is also 5 years only. Individually, the tenure of a minister depends on the confidence of the chief minister in him.
Functioning of Council of Ministers
The Cabinet is the most important unit of the Council of Ministers which takes decisions in all important matters of the Council of Ministers.
The meeting of the cabinet is usually held twice a week, although the Chief Minister can call its meeting whenever he wants, the Chief Minister presides over these meetings and in the absence of the Chief Minister, the senior most minister.
There is no quorum of the meeting. The two main rules of the proceedings of the cabinet are collective responsibility and secrecy.
In cabinet meetings, all decisions are generally taken unanimously, in case of differences, decisions are taken on the basis of mutual discussion.
And this decision is considered a joint decision of all the ministers, if any minister finds himself unable to accept it, then he has to resign.
Oath of secrecy is taken by every member of the Council of Ministers and the proceedings and decisions of the cabinet are kept secret. If any minister breaks the secrecy, he has to resign. This rule is followed more strictly in relation to the budget. |
The cabinet works through different types of committees called cabinet committees, these are of two types – permanent and short term.
The Chief Minister constitutes them according to the circumstances and requirement. Hence its number structure varies from time to time.
Along with resolving issues, it also puts suggestions in front of the cabinet and also takes decisions, although the cabinet can review their decisions.
The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly, if the Assembly passes a no-confidence motion against a minister or rejects a bill placed by a minister, then the entire Council of Ministers has to resign.
In this way, whatever decisions are taken by the Council of Ministers, all the ministers have to support them, whether they personally agree with the decision or not.
The council has collective responsibility in policy matters, but for the corrupt conduct or personal fault of a minister, the concerned minister is responsible, not the entire council of ministers.
Functions and Powers of the Council of Ministers
The entire administration in the state is run by the Council of Ministers. The functions and powers of the Council of Ministers are as follows –
Only the Council of Ministers exercises the real executive powers of the state. Each minister is the head of his department. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Legislative Assembly for running the administration.
The Council of Ministers formulates the policy for the administration of the state. Solves the political, economic and social problems of the state.
The governor makes appointments to the higher posts of the government only on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers has an important role in law making. Ministers not only prepare bills for law making but also present them in the Legislature and they also have an important role in getting them passed.
The Council of Ministers prepares the budget and the Finance Minister presents it to the Legislature.
The Council of Ministers represents the government in the Legislature and answers various questions of the Legislative Assembly like starred, unstarred, short notice questions.
The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. In the era of coalition government, the collective responsibility of the Council of Ministers has decreased. The ministers follow the instructions of their party leader instead of the Chief Minister. They themselves have started criticizing the decision of the Council of Ministers, due to which the collective responsibility is being diminished.
The Governor of every State shall appoint a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of a High Court to be the Advocate General of the State. (Article 165)
It shall be the responsibility of the Advocate General to advise the Government of that State on such matters of law and to perform such other duties of a legal nature as the Governor may, from time to time, direct or assign, and to discharge such functions as may be assigned to him by this Constitution or for the time being in force. Provided by or under any other law for the time being in force.
It is noteworthy that the Advocate General will hold office during the pleasure of the Governor and will receive such remuneration as the Governor may determine.
The Advocate General of a State shall have the right to speak in the Legislative Assembly of that State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, in both Houses and otherwise take part in their proceedings, but shall not have the right to vote (Article 177).