State Executive : Powers and functions of Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers

Constitution of Indian under article 163 states that  There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.Chief Minister is the head of the government in the State. The Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head exercises real authority at the State level. The Council of Ministers has the following categories of ministers: Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State and Deputy Ministers.

The Chief Minister is the link between the Governor and the council of ministers. He is required to communicate to the Governor the workings of the various wings of the government. Similarly, the advice and suggestions of the Governor are communicated to the council of ministers by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has a pivotal role in the financial matters of a state, including the budget, basic infrastructural and developmental priorities of the state, financial planning and economic growth of the state and others.

Functions and powers of Council of Ministers:-

(1) Formulation State Policies. The Council of Ministers has the responsibility of formulating and determining the policies of the state. All the policies are discussed and decided upon by it.
(2) Running Administration. The ministers are responsible for the running the administration of the State in accordance with the policies of the government and the laws passed by the legislature.
(3) Appointment – making powers. The Cabinet, in fact the Chief Minister, makes all appointments in the state. All the appointments of the high dignitaries of the state made by the Governor on the advice of the State Council of Ministers.
(4) Law Making. It is the ministry which really decides the legislative programme. Most of the bills are introduced by the ministers in the state legislature. The Governor summons, prorogues and dissolve the State Legislature upon the advice of the Council of Ministers.

Functions of The Chief Minister:-

  • Chief Minister is the real head of the State Government. Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Governor allocates portfolios to the ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  • Chief Minister presides over the Cabinet meetings. He/she coordinates the functioning of different ministries. He/she guides the functioning of the Cabinet.
  • Chief Minister plays a key role in framing the laws and policies of the State Government. Bills are introduced by the ministers in the State legislature with his/her approval. He/she is the chief spokesman of the policies of his government both inside and outside the State Legislature.
  • The Constitution provides that the Chief Minister shall communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration and the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation.
  • The Chief Minister furnishes such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for.
  • If the Governor so requires, the Chief Minister submits for consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the Cabinet.
  • The Chief Minister is the sole link of communication between the Cabinet and the Governor. The Governor has the right to be informed by the Chief Minister about the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers.


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