A Proposal for the Developmental Budget 2018-19 - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

The budget 2018-19 fiscal year has been proposed and a lot of discussion is taking place in the TV talk shows highlighting various aspects of the budget. I think one aspect is not being discussed and I wish to say something about it. This proposal is about the uniform development in the country and an attempt to reduce corruption which is eating the resourses of Pakistan.

It is an undeniable fact that most of the corruption at governmental level is being done through the development budget which is almost 20% of the total budget. Last year (2017-18) the Federal Development Expenditure was Rs.1,001 billion out of a budget of Rs.5,100 billion, and this year it is proposed to be Rs.1,030 billion out of Rs.5,500 billion.

There are two ways how the corruption is done. The experience shows that the allocation of this development budget is kept vague and the Prime Ministers and the Chief Ministers have been transferring these allocations from one project to another without any formal approval from the assemblies or from the Cabinet. It is done with two purposes. One, to develop only those parts of the country which they are interested in, and two, after transferring the allocations the project is made a mega project with a big chunk of kickbacks from these mega projects.

So, my proposal is that all the development projects above the allocation of one million rupees be identified with the specific names of the projects identifying the areas where these projects will be carried out, and to make sure that the allocations of these projects should not be transferred to any other project without the approval of the assembly so that not only the assembly members relating to that area should know about it, but the general public should also know through the media. At the same time, these funds should only be spent through the statutory bodies and NOT by allocating funds to the assembly members because distributing funds to the favourite assembly members is nothing but a bribery. If it is done, it will ensure uniform development in the country and a reduction in corruption.

Posted on May 07, 18 | 11:48 am