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Pakistan’s budget: Policy sans public

The government should involve the media and civil society in raising awareness and building consensus on reform. In several parts of the world, accessible materials to increase budget literacy are commonly used. Similarly, it is time that the legislators are made more familiar with the budget process to enhance public oversight. Techniques that track inter-governmental expenditures can help reduce corruption and waste. All of this requires deepening of democracy, civil service reform and the emergence of a responsible media. We need a light year to get there.

June 11th, 2010|development, Pakistan, Published in The Friday Times|1 Comment

More on the debate on IMF

I had posted my piece on the forthcoming (?) IMF programme and expressed fears as a citizen. The op-ed that was published in the NEWS has evoked a hard-hitting response by a former IMF staffer. I am happy that a debate has ensued – this is why his scathing attack on my argument is more than welcome. Any noise is better than the silence of complacency. Raza Rumi (ed.)
by Dr Meekal Aziz Ahmed

Raza Rumi wrote a nice article entitled “Debating the aid plan,” in your newspaper of Nov 1. I agree with a lot of what he says. Things in our land are pretty grim these days. But just as Mr Rumi’s article was engaging me, there came the usual blast against everyone’s favourite whipping boy and scapegoat, the IMF.

Let me recall a timeless phrase so that Mr Rumi knows “where I am coming from,” as they say, and then move on to the substance of his critique. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Mr Rumi, who must have read his Shakespeare, surely is familiar with these words. How well that quote describes our hapless country which seems to be going nowhere, while we insist it is everyone else’s fault? […]

November 10th, 2008|governance|4 Comments