LAHORE ( HAFEEZ REPORT )
in a ceremony held at Lahore “CPDI Budget Tracker” mobile application has been launched by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI). Inaugurated by Mr. Abdul Razaq Dhillon, Chairperson Provincial Assembly Standing Committee on Local Government, the application is a first of its kind not only in Pakistan but also in the entire Asian region.
Speaking at the occasion Chairperson Provincial Assembly Standing Committee appreciated CPDI’s initiative and said that this would enable citizens to easily access largest budget data ever in Pakistan. The access to district development budget will not only increase transparency and public participation in local governance but will also prove to be a great step towards strengthening local governments, the chief guest said. According to Mr. Razaq launching of CPDI Budget Tracker Mobile App was in line with the vision of the provincial government that was rapidly advancing on e-governance and was using the cyber space to improve its service delivery and make governance more inclusive.
While speaking on the occasion the Executive Director CPDI, Mr. Amer Ejaz said that the idea behind CPDI Budget Tracker App was to create, a first of its kind, online platform that would provides segregated but complete development budget information for the use of the citizens of Pakistan. The uniqueness of this application is that it facilitates the user in knowing about the development projects of his/her districts as well as desired department in a particular province, said Mr. Ejaz. He further reiterated CPDI’s resolves to provide the users, the citizens and budget researchers with best experience of budget tracking and expressed the hoped that this app would play a pivotal role in increasing common man’s interest in the budget documents and related issues.
Ms. Rahila Khadim Hussain, Chairperson Provincial Assembly Standing Committees on gender mainstreaming, and Ms. Shunila Ruth, Member Provincial Assembly Punjab expressed their views on importance of inclusion and public oversight of budget. Ms. Bushra Anjum Member provincial assembly committees on youth affairs and Education and Ms. Saadia Sohail member provincial assembly standing committee on communications and works spoke on the importance of the budget transparency in governance.
While explaining the features of the CPDI Budget Tracker, Raja Shoaib Akbar Program Manager CPDI said that this mobile app would give the user options to choose various filters while accessing the complete development budget information of the four provinces. He further said that the application was completely free and any android or apple user could easily access it from google play store or Apple app store by searching and downloading “CPDI Budget Tracker”.
At the end Mr. Amer Ejaz thanked the speakers and the participants who included legislatures, policy makers, civil society, academia, students, members of Citizens’ Network on Budget Accountability, media and general public.