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Tuesday June 25, 2024

CPDI sees faults in budgeting process at federal, provincial levels

By Syed Zahid Jan
January 15, 2023

DIR: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has released its third annual report on the State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan and pointed out shortcomings in the budgeting process at the federal and provincial levels.

It calls for budget proposals to be widely discussed with civic groups, government agencies, and key stakeholders.

The report says that the reports on budget implementation should be shared with the public and audit reports should be uploaded on the auditor general’s website on a regular basis. In addition, the participation of citizens in the budgeting process should be given legal protection and government agencies should be required to consult citizens during various stages of the budget-making process. In particular, the role of MPs should be enhanced during budget formulation and implementation

Speaking to media persons, Arshad Abdali and Zeeshan Khan said that for the past decade, the CPDI had been working to improve the budgeting process in Pakistan from the district to the federal level to promote transparency in it. The third report based on “State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan 2022” examines budget transparency in Pakistan and also helps to gauge the effectiveness of access to information laws in Pakistan in obtaining budget information.

According to the first portion of the report related to RTI implementation in public bodies, 150 requests for information, including 38 for the federal, 112 for Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh, were sent to selected federal ministries and provincial departments to test reactive disclosure in the budgeting process. Surprisingly, not a single response to any of these requests was received within the stipulated time. In the second stage, only five of the 30 requests were responded to.