PIPS and MUP Hold Session on State of Economy for Hon’able Members of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on May 25, 2024

Peshawar, May 25 2024 – Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services in collaboration with the Mustehkam Parlimaan (MuP) project, organized a technical assistance session on the State of the Economy and the Annual Budget 2024-25 for Hon’able Members of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Peshawar. The event brought together an audience of more than 70 participants that included over 25 members of the provincial assembly including the Hon. Speaker, Mr. Babar Saleem Sawati and the Hon. Deputy Speaker, Ms. Suriya Bibi; staff of the assembly secretariat and the key experts to discuss and deliberate on key economic challenges of the country and budgetary estimates with reference to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Team Leader of Mustehkam Parlimaan, Ms. Margaret Cook AO, give the welcome remarks, she congratulated all Members on their election and, expressed her resolve to assist Members in technical areas through joint efforts with PIPS team and under the guidance of leadership of the Assembly. She stated that the high-level public policy responsibilities now resting on the shoulders of the Assembly and well-informed debate contributes significantly to good decision-making.

In inaugural address, the Hon. Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mr. Babar Saleem Swati, expressed gratitude to the PIPS and Mustehkam Parlimaan project teams for organizing the session, emphasizing the complexity of budgetary figures and the importance of technical sessions in facilitating the understanding of key issues. He urged all members to attend the session with full concentration, highlighting its significance for their collective benefit. Swati reiterated his appreciation to PIPS and the Mustehkam Parlimaan Project for arranging the seminar on such a specialized topic, acknowledging the importance of their collaborative efforts in promoting informed decision-making within the Assembly.

Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General of Research at PIPS, outlined the session’s agenda and moderated the discussions. Key topics of the session included an overview of the Rules of Procedures of the Provincial Assembly of KP regarding budget processes, presented by Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director of PIPS. This was followed by an in-depth analysis of budget processes and National Finance Commission (NFC) resource distribution by Mr. Aizaz Asif, Senior Advisor for Public Financial Management and Public Policy at MuP. Dr. Wasim Shahid Malik, Professor of Economics / Former SBP Chair on Economics and the PIPS Adjunct Faculty, addressed the key challenges facing Pakistan’s economy and their impact on the budget and economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also highlighted the critical aspects of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Budget 2024-25. He gave a detailed comparison of regional economies suggesting a way forward for development for Pakistan. He stressed that Pakistan has rich youth bulge, investing in technical education, particularly in Information Technology on modern lines as well as exploring the regional potentials of each province, can help boost economic growth and prosperity at large.   

The session was inclusive and participatory, where Hon. MPs were also asking questions or giving their thoughts on the matters discussed by the facilitators. The discussion also touched upon the increased population of KP, the rise in the NFC award of the province, the importance of supplementary grants, and the correlation between economic and political stability, stressing the need for constitutional supremacy.

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