Engaging Democracy: Preparing For Punjab’s Fiscal Future

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The Punjab Assembly has kicked off its pre-budget session for the fiscal year 2024-25, marking a pivotal moment in the province’s economic planning. The session, which began on Tuesday, aims to gather valuable input from elected representatives to shape the upcoming budget.

During this four-day session, members of the assembly are actively participating, presenting both written and oral suggestions. Questionnaires have been distributed to ensure comprehensive feedback, with the goal of representing the diverse needs and perspectives of Punjab’s constituencies.

Minister of Finance Punjab, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, emphasized the importance of this democratic tradition, highlighting its continuation from previous governments. He stressed that budget formulation is not just a governmental responsibility but a right of the people, underscoring the significance of public representation in the process.

One of the key challenges facing Punjab is its reliance on federal revenues, with approximately 80% of provincial income coming from the central government. Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman highlighted the need for the province to enhance its own revenue streams and infrastructure to mitigate the impact of national economic conditions.

To achieve this, the government plans to implement practical measures aimed at boosting economic activity and rationalizing taxes. This approach aligns with the goal of strengthening Punjab’s financial independence and improving its infrastructure, particularly in the areas of transportation and resource management.

Crucially, the pre-budget session is not limited to government benches; opposition members are also encouraged to participate and contribute their ideas. Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman emphasized the shared responsibility of all representatives in shaping Punjab’s fiscal future, regardless of political affiliation.

As the pre-budget session progresses, the focus remains on inclusive decision-making and collaborative efforts to address the economic challenges and opportunities facing Punjab. By engaging in this democratic process, the province is poised to chart a course towards sustainable growth and prosperity for all its citizens.

 

Amber Jabeen
Amber Jabeen
The writer is a freelance columnist.

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