QUETTA: In a recent seminar held in Quetta, organized by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), speakers urged the government to enhance budget transparency and accountability in Pakistan.
Moonus Kayinat, Project Manager at CPDI, emphasized the importance of participatory budgeting in democratic governance, citing Article 19-A which guarantees citizens access to information. Fazeela Khan from the Provincial Finance Department noted the lack of adherence to the budget process in provincial departments.
Stakeholders Rally for Transparent Budgeting
Muhammad Asif, Finance Director at Balochistan Food Authority, stressed the need for a simplified budget format for public understanding and encouraged citizens to demand participatory budgeting. Sana Durrani, PPP representative, called for inclusive and gender-sensitive budgeting, highlighting challenges in implementing the Balochistan Domestic Violence Act. Former MPA Qadir Nael emphasized strategic planning for budget allocation, while Shahid Abbas Jatoi, Information Commissioner of Sindh Information Commission, underscored the role of citizen participation in enhancing budget transparency through Right to Information (RTI) laws.
Merit-Based Distribution Of Resources Demanded
Former senator Mir Kabeer Shahi urged merit-based resource distribution and adherence to constitutional guidelines for the National Finance Commission award. Ghafar Kakar, PTI representative, stressed transparent budget utilization, and Yasmeen Lehri, former MPA, advocated for resource allocation based on public needs, emphasizing local government empowerment. Educationist Faiza Mir highlighted the issue of 23 million out-of-school children, urging budget allocation for schools and teacher hiring. The seminar, attended by a diverse audience, concluded with thanks from Mr. Sami Sharique.