MPAs familiarised with budget process

May 28, 2014 

LAHORE: SEVERAL members of the Punjab Assembly Tuesday participated in a pre-budget 2014-15 workshop organised by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan, with the objective of familiarising the MPAs with the budget process and the prevailing system of fiscal federalism in the country.

Presiding over the event held at a local hotel, UNDP National Policy Adviser Marvi Sarmad said the programme had played a vital role in providing parliamentary support to the provincial assemblies and establishing Punjab’s first Women Parliamentary Caucus this year. Sarmad said the Women Caucus was proving to be a productive body in the field of legislation in the province. The UNDP adviser said the pre-budget workshop would acquaint parliamentarians on the changes taken place since the 18th Amendment, which devolved a number of powers to the provincial government departments.

Director-General, Legislation, Provincial Assembly of Punjab Inayatullah Lak briefed the MPAs on the entire budget process. Lak said procedures and rules regarding budget finance and presentation were outlined in Articles 118 to 127 of the 1973 Constitution. These include Articles on the annual budget statement, provincial consolidated fund and public account, supplementary and excess account, and power to authorise expenditure when the relevant Assembly stands dissolved. Lak also told MPAs that the budget could only be presented in Punjab Assembly on a day and time given by Punjab Governor. A pre-budget discussion was held on budget proposals for at least four days in the pre-budget period, and during these days the Assembly may recommend proposals to the government for the next budget.