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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

PEOPLE?S CONCERN

Tax revenues are the people’s money and they have the right to hold governments accountable. The civil society has been actively engaged in the early stages of formulation of the budget for targeting sectors. The civil society has suggested options to the federal government at the preparedness stage which will definitely improve the effectiveness of budget allocations in different sectors.

It is commonly believed that the language of the budget is hardly understandable to parliamentarians, the civil society, and common people. The first step should be to explain budget terminologies and do away with jargons in the document.

Before giving suggestions to the upcoming budget, clarity about term “budget” along with snapshot/analysis of/on current political and economic situations of the country seems necessary. Budget is the true reflection of the government policy and priorities. It shows the directions where the government is going to collect and where it is going to inject”.

Allocation of budget to different sectors in Pakistan is such that non-development expenditures and debt repayment are higher than the development expenditure.

This practice seems to be true again in the upcoming budget as it has been announced that defence budget will be increased by 18pc this year. In addition, large number of ministries still makes up large chunks of budget. Negligence of the government in dividing the budget proportionately to different regions of the country can be seen as a problem. FATA, KP, and southern parts of Punjab are still least developed regions of Pakistan. In the backdrop of this scenario, the common man believes budget in our country is not made considering our needs.

According to a recent report on Pakistan by the World Bank, the budget deficit is going to increase. Many reasons have been identified for this. Floods decreased the capacity of the government to generate budget revenues. Terrorism and floods led to low-revenue generation of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). Many believe that floods did not affect the industrial capacity but industrial production depends on agriculture produce.

Whenever there are economic constraints, development expenditure has to face cuts. The allocated development budget has been cut three times due to different reasons while flood rehabilitation is one of them. Revenue gaps are always filled by cutting down development expenditures.

Developed countries’ allocation of the budget for the development sector is an eye-opener. The US’s defence expenditure allocation is highest in the world but it complies only 10-15 percent of its budget. In our country, a complete reverse is the case.

Government policies have not supported an environment of investment in the country. Absence of proper policy measures by the government has hit the common man, which would definitely not strengthen revenue generation in the upcoming budget.

Poverty in Pakistan is increasing day by day. As data on poverty has not been collected for so many years, it has been estimated that poverty rate reached at 80 percent a

This article was originally published at: The News

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.