CPDI appreciate PMLN Statement to Stop MPs Development Funds
Islamabad, May 23, 2013: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) welcomes the statement of Mian Nawaz Sharif to stop constituency development funds (CDF) to members of National and Provincial Assemblies for two years. It was told that decision to lift the ban will be taken once the economic conditions and electricity crises are dealt with. The statement also mentioned that there are chances to obliterate such funds forever. According to him Parliament should focus on its legislative work and leave the local government to execute the development work.
CPDI appreciates the contents of this statement but has reservations on the spirit of this statement. Provision of such funds should not be made conditional with the uplift in economic situation in the country. These funds are tantamount to trespass in the domain of local government. Local development should be left to local government alone.
CPDI has long taken the position that constituency development funds put on the disposal of MPs are against the spirit of separation of powers, whereby legislators job is to legislate for people. Legislatures are large bodies that made decision collectively, usually by majority vote. On can debate the quality of discussion, participation and voting procedures in assembly but the fact remains that decisions are made collectively. CDF, on the other hand, is departure from the spirit of collective decision-making. Here policy decisions are taken by individual MPs with little participation from people, for whom such decisions are being taken. A research conducted by CPDI in district Rawalpindi in year 2012 depicted that not a single MPA ever consulted his voters before deciding the development priorities of the constituency.
CPDI also believe that this announcement should be prelude to the resurrection of local government system in the country. This system has been deliberately ignored in the past to provide a chance to the members of national and provincial assemblies to lure constituents through development project. That practice should be stopped at once and local government system should be revived through out the country according to the spirit of article 32 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Budget Study Centre
Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives