Senate committee irked over ignored budget proposals


-Standing Committee on Planning decides to approach Senate chairman to register complaint

ISLAMABAD: Showing concerns over the attitude of senior officials in various ministries, especially in finance and planning, Senate Standing Committee on Planning decided on Wednesday to approach Senate chairman to register a complaint that their budget proposals were ignored.

During the meeting of the committee which was chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, it was observed that most of the proposals made by the committee were ignored in the budget 2018-19. The committee discussed that various proposals forwarded by the members during past several years had been constantly ignored by the government functionaries.

Senator Talha Mehmood said that he had forwarded several development schemes since 2010 but they were never taken up by the government. Supporting his views, Senator Muhammad Usman Kakar and Senator Syed Shibli Faraz converged that the budget was mainly being made by bureaucracy. The bureaucracy includes development projects to appease some individual politicians and ministers, they added.

Faraz also said that budget recommendations were not considered by the bureaucracy during successive years, adding that the elected representatives in the Parliament were only wasting their time.

The committee later decided to meet Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to discuss the matter.

“We need to have an internal meeting first and discuss the issue with Senate chairman to resolve the issue,” chairman of the committee noted.

The committee members also observed that there was no binding on the National Assembly to consider the recommendations of the upper house of Parliament while approving the budget. Later, an official of the planning commission informed media about Article 73 (1A) of the Constitution.


Senator Sajjad Turi said, “Rs1 trillion has been agreed for FATA reforms for the next ten years and only Rs10 billion has been allocated in this regard. Besides, there is no mention of uplifting the international highway going to Afghanistan. There is only one airport in FATA which is closed for more than a decade. Why is there no money for it in this budget?”

The committee decided to hold a separate meeting on development projects in FATA and summoned the planning secretary to appear in the committee and explain who was making the decisions pertaining to acceptance of the development projects.