|Limits of Parliamentary Control: Public Spending in Bangladesh
ISBN 984 05 1774 0 2006 204pp 215x136mm HB Tk.435.00 US$25.00
One of the important functions of Parliament is to authorise the raising of funds and its expenditure. It is in its control over public finance that the so-called ‘sovereignty’ of Parliament manifests itself in Bangladesh. Article 83 of the Constitution provides that no tax can be levied or collected except by or under an authority of an Act of Parliament. Similarly, no expenditure may be incurred without parliamentary approval.
This book examines the extent to which these powers are formal or real. It explores the scope and limits of parliamentary control of public expenditure in Bangladesh. The study reveals that Parliament is now better poised to conduct effective scrutiny of public expenditure largely because of changes that have taken place in party composition and parliamentary procedures in recent years. However, it still remains disadvantaged vis-à-vis the executive. The book identifies the constraints that discourage the MPs from being proactive in Parliament and assesses the proposals suggested to further strengthening of parliamentary surveillance over public finance. This is the first book of its kind and should be of interest to academics, parliamentarians, party politicians, researchers, students, donors and civil society representatives.
Nizam Ahmed is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Chittagong. He obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Dhaka. He also has a Master of Social Sciences (Administration) from the University of Tasmania, Australia and a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His fields of interest are legislative behaviour, local government and intergovernmental relations, and comparative administration. His writings have appeared in scholarly international journals. He is co-editor of Parliaments in Asia (Frank Cass, 1999) and author of The Parliament of Bangladesh (Ashgate, 2002) and Non-Party Caretaker Government in Bangladesh: Experience and Prospect (UPL, 2004).