KALAT: Study has revealed that the local governments (LGs) had failed to include stakeholders in the budget making process. Only 4 out of 20 districts released pre-budget statement that would have provided the stakeholders a chance to express their opinion on budget proposals. This study was shared with participants in a one-day workshop on ‘Study of Budget Making Process at District Level in Balochistan, here in Kalat on Tuesday.
The ‘Study of Budget Making Process at District Level in Baluchistan ’launched by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) reveals that Budget Call letters delayed, budget time line is not followed properly, none of the 20 surveyed districts have involved the general public and the stakeholders in budget making. Only 4 districts issued pre-budget statements where the copy was not present for the public, none of the districts has a functional website, 19 out of 20 districts stated that there was no separate budget branch.
Talking about budget transparency, President Human Prosperity organization (HPO) Yousaf Baloch said that districts performance was not enviable at all. Districts are not making use of information technology to share information with citizens; There is not a single district that has a functional website. To aggravate the situation further not a single district issued a citizens’ budget.
“The officials of 19 districts stated that there was no separate budget branch; absence of a separate budget branch could be one of the major causes of delays in budget timelines,” he added.
While talking to the participants of the event Muhammad Asif, provincial coordinator CPDI said that Pre-budget consultation with stakeholders were held in 80% of districts, mainly involving district officers and elected representatives, ignoring citizens and other important segments of society.
Ahmed Nawaz Baloch Ex city Nazim, Haleem Mengal, currant opposition leader Municipal Committee(MC) Kalat, District organizer BNP Awami, Haji Qadir Umrani, District assistant Social welfare officie Kalat, Muhammad Iqbal, and secretary general Teacher Association Kalat Agha Athiq Rehman Shah were among the chief participants. The appreciated CPDI’s and HPO efforts for sharing the study with stakeholders. They emphasized on the dire need of discussion on the district budgets among citizens’ groups, civil society and media for indigenizing the local development agenda.
Published in The Balochistan on November 27, 2018