Open announcement of UP budget improves rural livelihoods

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RAJSHAHI, May 5, 2018 (BSS)- Open announcement of UP’s annual budget has started boosting mass-awareness of grassroots people side by side with improving their livelihoods through creating scopes of spontaneous participation to the colourful announcement ceremony.

Md Akhtaruzzaman, chairman of Dewpara Union Parishad (UP) under Paba upazila, said interest of people relating to the budget has been enhanced by dint of the open announcement.

“We are getting chance of taking initiative for developing the area after giving priority to the people’s opinion on the open budget,” he added.

As a result, the common villagers are also getting idea on the activities and role of UP and deriving benefit from those.

Professor Pronob Kumar Panday of Department of Public Administration of Rajshahi University (RU) said participatory budget formulation and its proper implementation in the local government institutions (LGIs) especially in UP is very important for reflecting the hopes and aspirations of the grassroots people along with their empowerment.

Academics, public representatives, development activists and professional leaders here highlighted the significance of people’s participation in formulation of local budget.

Akbarul Hassan Millat, editor of Daily Sonar Desh, said various government and non-government organisations are now implementing different projects for welfare of the grassroots people through LGIs. So, there is no alternative to empowerment of the local bodies through promoting more democratic, transparent, inclusive and effective system.

Prof ANK Noman of Department of Economics in RU stressed the need for furthermore enhancing the institutional capacity of UPs through activating ward meetings, standing committees, open budget meetings and increasing the civic and local community engagements at local level planning and budgeting.

He said some of the UPs are seen announcing open budget in the region with financial support of various development organisations. But time has come to build their capacity so that they can announce their budget with own initiative.

Prof Noman emphasised the need for identifying the local needs through proper assessment in the region and bring those under budgetary allocation for the sake of reducing disparity. He put emphasis on strengthening the local government institutions for their capacity building.

Prof Nurul Alam, former chairman of Rajshahi Education Board, mentioned the role of LGIs especially UPs and their people is very important towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He viewed UP is mandated for ensuring effective public service delivery at the grass-root level. All LGIs people should give their full efforts and commitments as a team to strengthen the capacity, ensure transparency and accountability in their respective UPs.

Md Muniruzzaman Moni, president of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said main motto of the SDGs is to leaving no one behind. “Bangladesh has become a role model for developing world. We have many successes in achieving MDGs and we want to continue it through achieving SDGs.”

“The government has already aligned the global goals and targets with its seventh Five-Year Plan and we have already started our work to reach the goals”, he added.

The chamber leader stressed on providing adequate training on tax assessment and collection, open budget, financial management and record keeping, participatory planning and budgeting, roles and responsibilities of UPs and standing committees and creating strategic planning.

There should be measures of innovative idea, implementation challenges, projects success and achievements and how to strengthen UP.

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