Pakistan’s budgeting process involves six stages, beginning with the government setting out priority policies and initiatives, followed by budget preparation, authorisation, execution, reporting and monitoring, and periodic review. The Annual Budget Statement (ABS) is a critical document that outlines financial planning for the next fiscal year, including receipts, expenditures, and demand summaries. Voted and charged expenditure are the two categories of expenses covered in the ABS, with voted expenses subject to the approval, modification, or rejection of the National Assembly. Charged expenditure is a mandatory expense paid for from the Federal Consolidated Fund, not voted on by the NA, and predetermined by the constitution. However, Pakistan’s budget-making process is dominated by the Executive and federal bureaucracy, which is different from the classical Hamiltonian division between the Executive and legislature. Comparatively parliamentary models from the UK and the US illustrate parliamentary committees significantly scrutinising financial demands and expenditures in their budget-making processes. Overall, promoting citizen participation in the budgeting process can help build trust between citizens and governments and improve the quality of public services.
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