The functions and powers of the Union Parliament can be divided into legislative, executive, financial and other catagories.

Legislative Functions:

  • Primarily the Parliament is a law-making body. And the constitution has divided the subjects over which Parliament can make laws. In Part XI of the Constitution, there are three lists mentioned, namely – Union List, State List and the Concurrent List.
  • The Constitution empowers only Parliament to make laws on the subjects mentioned in the Union List.functions of indian parliament
  • Also, the Parliament can make laws on the Concurrent List along with the State Legislatures.
  • When both, the Union as well as the State legislatures make a law on subject of Concurrent List, then the Parliament’s law will prevail upon the state law in case of a conflict.
  • Residuary powers: For subjects which are not mentioned in any of the three lists,the parliament has power to make laws.
  • Therefore, the law making capacity of the Parliament is very wide in its coverage and effect. It covers the Union List, Concurrent List, and even the State List under some circumstances.

The Executive Functions:

There is a close relationship between the legislature and the executive in parliamentary form of government. Here the executive( includes Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers ) is responsible towards the legislature, individually as well as collectively for all its actions. Parliament  is empowered to maintain its control over executive through various ways. Some of them are :-

  1. The members of Parliament can ask questions and supplementary questions regarding matters of affairs of the Government. 
    [box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Question Hour :The first hour of every working day of Parliament relates to the Question Hour in which the Ministers have to answer the questions raised by the members.[/box]
  2. The Parliament has control over the executive through several motions.There nuances are: the calling attention notice or adjournment motion are for matters of urgent public importance. The government takes such motions very seriously because there government’s policies are severely criticized, this affects ruling party’s poll prospects. If such a motion is passed, it means that the government is censured.