State various features of the Cabinet system?
The features of the Cabinet system are:
- President - the Nominal Head: He is the Constitutional Head of the State while the real executive is the Cabinet. It is the Cabinet that makes important decisions for the President which is presided over by the Prime Minister. The President does not attend the Cabinet meetings. Therefore, although all the decisions are made in the President’s name, he is not accountable for these decisions. Thus, the actual executive power lies with the Cabinet.
- Co-ordination between the Cabinet and the Parliament: Our system of government is based on the principle of close-cooperation between the executive and legislative wings. The legislators attend the meetings of the Parliament and take active part in its debates and discussions while the administrators hold different executive powers and carry out the administration of the Union Government.The Members of the Parliament enjoy the support of their party that holds the majority in the Lok Sabha. As the ministers have the support of the MPs, the bills moved by the ministers in the Parliament are passed without any difficulty.
- Leadership of the Prime Minister: The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers as stated by Article 74 of the Indian Constitution. He determines the composition of the Cabinet. The President on his advice appoints the Cabinet members. The Prime Minister acts as a link between the President and the Cabinet. He presides over the meetings of the Cabinet and conducts the proceedings. Therefore, the leadership of the Prime Minister is an important feature of the government.
- Responsibility of the Council of Ministers: The Council of Ministers is ‘collectively responsible’ to the Parliament (Lok Sabha). When a decision is taken by the Cabinet, every Minister has to stand by it without any reservation. Another important feature of the parliamentary government is ‘Individual responsibility’. This implies that each Minister is individually responsible for his department and is answerable for personal lapses, departure from official policy by him or for the failure of his department. The principles of Collective and Individual responsibility are effective weapons in the hands of the Parliament to control the Council of Ministers.
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