Budget-Making in Pakistan
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In modern governance, the budget of a state is one of the most powerful fiscal instruments at the disposal of an incumbent government to implement its political commitments and development agenda. Tabled every year in the parliament, the budget contains the ideas that are to be translated into implementable policies prioritized by the allocations of funds. It reflects a country’s social, economic, fiscal and financial responsibilities and also tells about government’s policies for the future. In Pakistan, the budget is known as the Federal Budget. Since financial year in the country starts from 1st July, the budget is presented before the National Assembly usually in the first week of June every year; however, the government can present it even before that.
In Pakistan, the Annual Financial Statement (generally known as budget) is presented according to the governing laws enshrined in various articles of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973. Although a bill can be originated either in the National Assembly or in the Senate, the Money Bill can only be tabled in National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament. This document is presented by the finance minister and after passage of the finance bill in the parliament, approved by the President within 30 days of its passage to become a law. However, the document takes months of hard work for its preparation before it is presented before the National Assembly. Here is a brief description of the process:
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