By Rafiullah Mandokhail,
ZHOB: Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched its report entitled ‘Study of budget making process at district level in Balochistan’ here in Zhob district.
Chief guest of the session was CPDI provincial coordinator Muhammad Asif. Those who attended the session were included stakeholders, government officials, councilors, representatives of non-governmental organizations and media persons attended the event.
AWARE Director Abid Sherani in his welcome remarks said, the session was aimed at identifying the loopholes in preparing the district annual fiscal plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions. He said.
Muhammad Asif, the provincial coordinator CPDI said that budget was the most important policy document of the government. In the modern-day governance, policies are supposed to be formulated through active public participation. He said the federal and provincial budgets are hotly debated in both provincial and national assemblies and discussed in media. However, the district budgets are approved in quite isolation. There was dire need to discuss the district budgets among citizens groups, civil society and media for indigenizing the local development agenda.
“CPDI demands formulation of new budget rules, adherence to the budget calendar, transparency and citizens’ participation in the budget making process at district level in Baluchistan. First draft of the district budget should be presented in April to ensure timely input from citizens.”
He said that the local governments have been completely failed to include stakeholders in the budget making process. Only 1 out of 23 districts released pre-budget statement that would have provided the stakeholders a chance to express their opinion on budget proposals.