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> PILDAT Welcomes Amendment to National Assembly Rules providing role to Committees in the Budget Process; terms it a watershed in Parliamentary Development in Pakistan
   
 

January 29, 2013
Islamabad

   

Islamabad; January 29; PILDAT has welcomed the unanimous passage of Amendment in the Rules of Procedures on Budget Process in the National Assembly of Pakistan today. Terming it a ‘historic’ development, PILDAT said that reform introduced through this amendment in the Parliamentary budget process will go a long way in strengthening the role of National Assembly – and of people’s elected representatives – in duly exercising their power over the country’s purse strings. For the first time in Pakistan, after considerable bipartisan reform efforts by PILDAT over the years, Standing Committees in the National Assembly will have the power to scrutinise ministerial budget proposals before these are made part of the Federal Budget.

 
 

Congratulating Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, MNA, Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhary, MNA, Chairman and members of the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges for pushing for this key reform in Parliamentary budget process and its passage, PILDAT stated that its efforts over the past 8 years to reform and strengthen Parliamentary budget process have finally borne fruit.

 
 

The amendment, passed unanimously today in the National Assembly of Pakistan, states that:

 
 

“Amendment in rule 201:- That in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007, in rule 201, after sub-rule (5), the following new sub-rule (6), shall be added, namely:-

“(6) Each Standing Committee shall scrutinize and suggest amendments, if necessary, and recommend Ministry’s Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the next financial year before the same is sent to the Ministry of Finance for inclusion in the Federal Budget for the next financial year.

Each Ministry shall submit its budgetary proposals relating to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the next financial year to the relevant Standing Committee not later than the 31st January of preceding financial year and the Standing Committee shall make recommendations thereon not later than the 1st March of the preceding financial year:

Provided that where such recommendations are not made by the 1st March, the same shall be deemed to have been endorsed by the Standing Committee.”

 
 

PILDAT has thanked and congratulated the Honourable Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA; Federal Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA; Mr. Nadeem Afzal Gondal, MNA, previously chair of the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges and now Chairman Public Accounts Committee and Chief Whip of PPPP and Federal Minister Syed Khurshid Shah, MNA for their consistent support and efforts in pushing through this reform. All political parties represented in the National Assembly of Pakistan and the entire Secretariat deserve accolades on the passage of this key reform.