Powers & Functions of National People Congress: Constitutional Law Notes

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 02:14 -- Umar Farooq

Powers & Functions of National People Congress

The National People Congress exercises all kinds of powers and covers all aspects of state functions. The constitution of China is not based on the theory of separation of powers. It has legislative, executive, electoral, financial and constituent powers. It has the power to remove a high official of the state.

According to Article-62 the National People Congress has the power to amend the constitution. It has also the power to enact laws. Further, it supervises, the enforcement of the constitution. It elects the President and Vice-President of the Republic of China. It has the power to decide on the choice of the Prime Minister of the State Council (Council of Ministers) upon the recommendation of the President of the Republic. It also decides and approves the appointment of members of the State Council. Chairmen of various Central Commissions, Auditor General and Secretary General of State Council on the recommendation of the Premier.

It passes the State Budget and the financial report. It approves establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central authority. It decides on question of war and peace. It approves the state budget. It also examines and approves the plan for national development and it may also exercise such other functions as the National People Congress may think necessary. According to Article-63 of China Constitution the Congress has the power to remove the under mentioned from office:

  1. The President and Vice-President of the People Republic of China
  2. The Premier and Vice-Premiers, State Councilors and Heads of Commissions, Secretary General of the State Council and the Auditor General
  3. The Chairman and other members of Central Military Commission,
  4. The President of the Supreme People's Court
  5. The Procurator General

The deputies of the Congress may ask questions to the State Council or to the Ministers and Commissions of the State Council. They may ask any question concerning administration in order to elicit information

The above description of the powers and functions of the National People Congress shows that it is a very powerful body. It exercises various kinds of powers and functions and is the only body that is authorized to make laws for the whole of China. As various kinds of functions have been entrusted to this body, it occupies an enviable position in the constitutional system of the People Republic of China. But as Congress is an unwieldy body, its present strength being 2700 and it meets quite infrequently, it cannot exercise all the powers in practice.