Reporting on budget is not just anyone’s job


Research-based reporting stressed for dissemination of realistic information on budget

Speakers at a pre-budget training session stressed the need for researched-based reporting for the dissemination of informed and realistic information about the budget, said a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) press release on Friday.

The event was organised by FAFEN in collaboration with the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) for improving the quality of media reporting of the upcoming budget sessions of the national as well as provincial assemblies.

PRA President Saddique Sajid, Secretary Arshad Waheed Chaudhry and parliamentary reporters of different media groups attended the session.

National Assembly Deputy Secretary (Legislation) Mushtaq Ahmed informed the participants about different aspects of the budget-making while critical issues such as concepts of parliamentary reforms, budget reporting: challenges and opportunities and critical aspects of the budget also came under discussion.

Mushtaq Ahmed said there is a greater need for studying and critically evaluating the budget documents in order to inform the people about different processes of the budget and its content. He said speculative reporting on the content of budget documents before its presentation in the National Assembly is not in the interests of the people so it should be discouraged. He also informed the participants about the procedures that need to be followed from the preparation of the budget to its approval by the lower house.

Senior journalist Hafiz Tahir Khalil briefed the participants on how to do effective reporting of the budget speech, what aspects should be looked into and emphasised the need for highlighting those aspects which are related to broaden the tax net.