RAWALPINDI ( BMZ REPORT )
Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI) a provincial secretariat of Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) launched smart phone application to conduct District Budget Survey in Punjab. Talking to the media person in Rawalpindi Syed Kausar Abbas, Program Manager Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) and Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) told that a mobile based application is launched to conduct a budget survey in all 36 districts of Punjab. The partners of Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) will conduct budget survey in all 36 districts of Punjab to gauge the process of budget at district level. CPDI has sent letters to all Executive District Officers of Finance and Planning departments in 36 districts to intimate them about the budget survey in their district. Kausar Abbas said that CPDI is introducing smart applications to get the accuracy in the survey and as well as to track the performance of survey at each district. He said that the budget officials are reluctant to share the information about the district budget. Information about the district budget is a fundamental right of every citizen and the district officials should encourage the staff to share the information instead of creating hurdles to share information with the citizens. There is no provision of hiding the budget information in the Budget Rules. He said that the budget document is a public document and it should be publicize and open to everyone. He urged the district finance and planning department to engage the citizens in the budget consultation to make the budget making process transparent. The district governments must follow the budget rules to make the budget document transparent to public. The district governments should make a mechanism to get their feedback of citizens in the budget making process. The budget document should be made easy for the citizen. A citizen budget should be prepared for the people to analyze the budget of the district. He said that the language of the budget document should be easy to understand for the public. It should not be made complicated for the citizens. Kausar Abbas urged the citizens to take active part in the budget making process to hold the public expenditures accountable. The expenditures of the budget should be shared with the citizens on regular basis and feedback mechanism should be enhanced to ensure the public participation in the budget making process of the district. He said that the district governments should share the budget document and details of expenditures on the websites to enhance the citizen access to budget.