Parliament: The body that legislates or makes laws is called the Legislature.
In India, we call it Parliament. It has two houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha. They make laws for the whole country.
Functions: Parliament is the supreme law making body in the country and performs
certain vital functions. Firstly, it makes laws on a variety of subjects. Second,
it controls the income and expenditure of the Government. Third, it exercises control
over the ministers through various means such as questions. Fourth, the members
of Parliament express their views on various public issues. In this way, they bring
to the notice of the government many grievances of the people.
The budget is approved by Parliament. Without Parliament’s sanction, the Government
can neither impose any taxes nor spend any amount. Thus, Parliament keeps a control
on the income and expenditure of the Government.
The most important function of Parliament is to exercise control over the ministers
and their work. The Prime Minister and his ministers are responsible to Parliament
for their work. The Lok Sabha can remove them by passing a no-confidence motion
Laws are made in our country at the Union as well as at the State level. Our Constitution has given separate lists of subjects on which the Government can make
laws. There are 97 subjects under the Union list. The Parliament of India alone
can pass laws on these subjects. Important subjects under the Union list are defence,
railway, currency etc.
There are 66 subjects on which state governments can make laws. The important
ones are agriculture, health, forests, irrigation, electricity etc.
Besides these, there are 47 subjects on which both Parliament and the State
legislature have the power to make laws.