The budget-making process in Pakistan is complex, opaque and often undemocratic; dominated by the executive, federal government and bureaucracy. However, recent events have highlighted the need to strengthen Parliament and National Assembly’s role in the budget-making process and reduce supplementary grants. In the current political and constitutional context of Pakistan, there is a debate over the role of the parliament in financial expenditure. The federal government and the parliament have emphasised the parliamentary prerogative concerning authorisation of expenditure from the federal consolidated fund in response to the orders of the Supreme Court to the Federal Govt to grant 21 Billion rupees from the Federal Consolidated Fund for elections in Punjab and KP. This is an important opportunity to examine the role of the parliament in the budget-making process. The budget-making process in the Pakistan National Assembly is dominated by the executive and the federal government bureaucracy. In parliamentary democracies, the executive has historically been more developed than the parliament and political class, which is particularly true in less developed democracies like Pakistan. It is important to note that comparative models, especially from the UK and the US, show that parliamentary committees play an essential role in scrutinizing financial demands and expenditures. Supplementary grants are a problematic aspect of the budget-making process. Supplementary grants refer to the additional funding granted by the government outside the budgetary framework to meet unforeseen or urgent expenditure requirements. In parliamentary democracies, the executive has historically been more developed than the parliament and political class, which is particularly true in less developed democracies like Pakistan. The defence sector, particularly the military, is the biggest beneficiary of non-democratic budget-making processes, especially of the supplementary grants, which has raised concerns about the transparency and accountability of the budget-making process. The statistics reveal that the defence sector, particularly the military, has been the biggest beneficiary of non-democratic budget-making processes, especially supplementary grants. In the fiscal year 2021-22, the Ministry of Defence received a whopping Rs. 153 billion or 11.8% additional money in the fiscal year over the revised budget of the previous year. This allocation did not even include Rs. 395 billion allocated for pensions of retired military personnel and Rs. 463 billion for the armed forces development programme and other essential expenditures. The supplementary grant mechanism has been particularly advantageous for the defence sector, as it allows them to receive additional funding without much oversight or accountability. This is a serious concern, as it means that the defence sector is not held accountable for how it spends taxpayers’ money. The disproportionate allocation of resources to this sector without proper oversight undermines the principles of democratic accountability and transparency. The parliament must have a more significant role in the budget-making process, especially concerning defence expenditures. The military’s significant influence on the budget-making process has also led to concerns about civil-military relations, with many arguing that the military is exerting too much influence on the country’s political and economic affairs. In the constitutional scheme of Pakistan, the heads of the political parties enjoy tremendous control over the budget-making process and money bills. Under Article 63A of the Constitution, a member of the National Assembly can be disqualified for voting against the directions of the party on a money bill, which essentially means that individual parliamentarians have a very limited role. This is a serious problem as it undermines the very essence of democracy, which is to ensure that elected representatives have a say in governance. Supplementary grants are undemocratic and need to be curtailed and minimised. The process of granting supplementary grants is opaque and lacks transparency, making it susceptible to corruption and abuse. Moreover, the lack of scrutiny and oversight of supplementary grants raises serious concerns about their use and effectiveness. It is imperative to reform the budget-making process in Pakistan. The parliament must be empowered to scrutinize defence expenditures, and the budget-making process must be more transparent and accountable. This can be achieved by empowering parliamentary committees, especially the Finance Committee, to scrutinize financial demands and expenditures. The parliament needs to play a more active role in authorizing financial expenditures and holding the executive accountable. This can be achieved by introducing measures such as ex-ante scrutiny, which would require the executive to seek parliamentary approval before authorizing financial expenditure. There is also a need for a constitutional amendment in Article 84 to limit the scope of permissible supplementary grants. The parliament needs to have the power to scrutinize and approve supplementary grants, which would ensure transparency and accountability in the budget-making process. In conclusion, the role of the parliament in the budget-making process is crucial for democratic governance. Pakistan needs to reform its budget-making process and empower the parliament to play a more active role in authorizing financial expenditures and holding the executive accountable. This can be achieved by introducing measures such as ex-ante scrutiny, empowering parliamentary committees, and limiting the scope of permissible supplementary grants. By doing so, Pakistan can ensure transparency and accountability in the budget-making process and promote democratic governance. The writer is a practising lawyer and teaches law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).