ISLAMABAD: Parliament, which is held in high esteem verbally, is completely disregarded when the time to act comes, which is evident from the failure of various federal ministries to submit budgetary proposals of their Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to the respective standing committees of the National Assembly despite the lapse of several weeks.
Rules of Business of Government of Pakistan 1973 and Rules of Business and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007 required the ministries to submit the budgetary proposals of their PSDP with their concerned standing committees of the house for their approval. The sub rule (6) of rule 201 stipulates that every ministry will submit its budgetary proposals for their PSDP to the relevant standing committee not later than 31stJanaury and the committee shall discuss it and return it to the ministry with or without recommendations not later than 1st march.
Rules of Business of the government bind every government department/ministry to abide by the rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National assembly. On ground, the situation is contrary to the requirements of these rules various Federal Ministries have not submitted budgetary proposals of their Public sector Development Programme to their respective standing committees after lapse of the deadline set forth in the rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly.
Prominent among the various ministries to meet this requirements are key ministries of Defence, Interior, Petroleum & Natural Resources and few others which are still to comply with this requirements and this too after lapse of one and half months and subsequent approval deadline expired three weeks back.
Parliamentary sources revealed to Daily Times here on Friday that at one hand when federal ministries are violating these rules by not submitting their PSDP budgetary proposals, on the other hand, relevant house committees have also been functioning miserably as if the committees don’t return or take up the budgetary proposals before March 1, it will be presumed that the committee has no objection whatever would be allocated in the federal budget on this head.
To make the matters worst, if any committee took up these budgetary proposals after expiry of the deadline, they didn’t hold the ministries officials accountable for abrogating the requirements. For instance, Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and National Harmony took up the PSDP proposals of the Ministry for discussion the other day after lapse of the set deadline. However this futile exercise was neither pointed out by the Officials of the Committee Secretariat nor the Ministry.
The meeting was convened on Thursday didn’t utter a single word why the budgetary proposals were submitted so late and even the opposition parties members didn’t took the ministry officials to task when they attended the last meeting. Parliamentary sources believed that the exercise was just to appease the members to get hefty amounts on TD/DA admissible to the MNAs while they come to Islamabad to attaed the committee meetings.
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