KARACHI: CPDI has released its second annual report on the “State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan”. The report pointed out shortcomings in the budgeting process at the federal and provincial levels and calls for budget proposals to be widely discussed with civic groups, government agencies and key stakeholders.
The report says that monthly/quarterly or annual reports on budget implementation should be shared with the public and audit reports should be uploaded on the Auditor General’s websites 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 with the citizens during the various stages of the budget making process. In particular, the role of MPs should be enhanced during budget formulation and its implementation
While talking with media persons during a press conference organized by member organization of CNBA (Citizens Network for Budget Accountability) Dr. Bilquis Rehman of Council for participatory Development said that for the past decade, CPDI has been working to improve the budgeting process in Pakistan from the district to the federal level to promote transparency in it.
As a result, a second report based on “State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan 2021” has been released. This report not only examines budget transparency in Pakistan but also helps to gauge the effectiveness of access to information laws in Pakistan in obtaining budget information.
He further added that according to the report, participation of citizens in budgeting, legislature oversight, duration of budget debate in parliaments and equitable budgeting are required to be addressed. In addition, there is no mechanism for issuing quarterly, half-yearly or annual reports by any government while audit reports have not been regularly uploaded on the Auditor General’s websites.
Dr. Bilquis Rehman said that it is also worth noting that governments do not provide revised estimates timely with concerned stakeholders but are presented during the budget approval process. She demanded that the provincial and federal governments ensure the implementation of access to information laws and remove obstacles in order to promote budget transparency and accountability.