1. SUBAI-PIPS Pre-Budget Seminars:
The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) as part of its regular and ongoing services to the Assemblies agreed to collaborate with SUBAI- to organize joint Pre-Budget briefing seminars in all four Provincial capitals. Honourable Members of all four Provincial Assemblies participated in the events.
The purpose of the events was to provide the Honourable Members with a better understanding of the budgeting processes, to emphasize the key issues regarding budget activity and to identify the key characteristics of budgeting and public finance management.
The event hosted discussion sessions with the country’s leading experts from academia, civil society and government. The experts delved deeper into themes including budgeting, finance, economic growth, gender-sensitive budgeting and revenue generation.
The Pre-Budget seminar for the Provincial Assembly of Punjab was held on May 23 2017 in Lahore.
The event hosted more than 100 participants including 56 Honourable Members of the Provincial Assembly. Leader of Opposition MPA Mahmood-ur-Rashid and all the Parliamentary Party Leaders participated in the interactive event. The seminar was inaugurated and chaired by the Honourable Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan.
Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Minister for Finance Punjab, was the Guest of Honour at the event. Dr. Pasha talked about the challenges and opportunities for the Punjab Province in relation to the National Finance Commission.
SUBAI was represented by Dr. Nazya Fiaz, Deputy Team Leader. The PIPS team was represented by Director Research & IT PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka.
The Pre-Budget seminar for the Provincial Assembly of Sindh was held on May 18th, 2017 in Karachi. The PIPS team inaugurated the event and welcomed the Honourable Members of the Assembly. Ms. Donna Bugby-Smith, Team Leader, SUBAI Pakistan and Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Zafar Ullah Khan, welcomed and thanked the Chairperson of the Honourable Minister for Transport & Mass Transit, Labour & HR and Information, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah for his support and time.
The keynote speakers at the event included Dr. Waseem Shahid Malik, Associate Professor and State Bank of Pakistan Hon. Chair, University of Balochistan; Dr. Kaiser Bengali, Renowned Economist and Member of the National Finance Commission; Mr. Haider Abbas, Additional Director PIPS; Mr. Tarique Hussain Tunio, Commissioner Sindh Revenue Board and Ms. Mahnaz Rahman, Resident Director Aurat Foundation-Karachi.
Discussion sessions focused on the key economic challenges facing Pakistan’s economy with a specific focus on the Sindh Provincial economy; challenges and opportunities regarding the National Finance Commission (NFC) for Sindh; Tips for reading and analyzing budget documents; Revenue generation by Sindh Province; key challenges and opportunities for the Province in relation to the budget; overview of the social sector allocation and outcomes with regard to Gender-based budgeting.
A total of 35 Members of the Provincial Assembly and 23 officials of the Secretariat attended the pre-budget seminar in Sindh.
The Pre-Budget seminar for the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan was held on May 15th, 2017 in Quetta. The PIPS Director of Research and IT, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka inaugurated and welcomed the Honourable Members of the Assembly to the event. He thanked the Guest of Honor, Former Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, who was also the Chair of the event.
The keynote speakers at the event comprised of distinguished economists and experts: Dr. Waseem Shahid Malik from the University of Balochistan, Dr. Kaiser Bengali, Adviser to the Balochistan Government, Mr. Ishaq Jamali, Joint Secretary Revenue Authority, Mr. Zafarul Hasan from Ministry of Finance’s SDGs desk and Ms. Ayesha Wadood representing SUBAI.
Discussions were focused on the issues related to Pakistan’s economy and various economic indicators as well as the specifics of Balochistan’s economic conditions; challenges and opportunities regarding the National Finance Commission (NFC); expenditures allocation for socio economic development; creation of more opportunities for the youth in Balochistan through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and related economic growth initiatives.
The event was attended by 23 participants including seven Honourable Members of the Provincial Assembly. The participants also acknowledged the efforts of SUBAI for arranging an informative seminar.
The Pre-Budget briefing seminar for the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was held on May 15th, 2017 in Peshawar. The seminar was attended by the Honourable Speaker, Mr. Asad Qaiser and Honourable Deputy Speaker, Madam Meher Taj Roghani, of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with Honourable Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs). The seminar provided a knowledge-sharing platform for MPAs and experts to interact with each other and discuss issues related to budgeting.
The experts who delivered the knowledge sessions included Dr. Eatzaz Ahmed, the Honorary Chair of the State Bank of Pakistan and Professor at the University of Peshawar. Dr. Ahmed talked about the key economic indicators of Pakistan, the economic status of Pakistan as compared to other world economies and explain the major goals for building healthy economies.
The second expert was Professor Muhammad Ibrahim, former Senator and Member of the National Finance Commission (NFC). He gave a detailed presentation on the NFC and its significance for the Provinces. The third expert was Mr. Shahnawaz Khan, member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority. He presented details about the revenue generation for the Provinces. Mr. Muhammad Adnan Azeem, Finance and Accounts Officer, National Assembly of Pakistan talked about techniques for interpreting and analyzing the Budget Documents.
Ms. Saima Munir of the Aurat Foundation talked about the Gender-based Budgeting process. She explained the relevance of Gender-based budgeting and said that it is a tool through which we can assess Government’s commitment towards integrating ‘Gender Equality’ into the budgeting processes.