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National Convention on “People's Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from New Union Govt” to conclude today

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: A two-day National Convention is currently underway. It is being organised on “People’s Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from the New Union Government” from October 24-25 in the auditorium of the India Islamic Culture Centre in New Delhi.

The National Convention is being organised by the People’s Budget Initiative, (PBI), under the aegis of the New-Delhi based Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, (CBGA). The Charter of Demands prepared in this National Convention will form the basis of advocacy with the policymakers and members of legislature in the ensuing months.

As the country is gearing up for the next General Elections, efforts are being made by People’s Budget Initiative to assess people’s expectations on budgetary priorities from the new Union Government. In this regard, five Regional Conventions were held – in Ranchi (for Eastern Region), Bhopal (for Northern and Central Region), Hyderabad (for Southern Region), Ahmadabad (for Western Region), and Guwahati (for North Eastern Region) during 30th of September to 7th of October 2013. People’s Budget Initiative will also seek inputs from some of the national level civil society alliances/networks/ campaigns with regard to their expectations from the next government at the Centre. In order to consolidate the expectations emerging from the civil society organisations in different regions and the national level civil society alliances, People’s Budget Initiative is organising the National Convention

Also, some of the members of People’s Budget Initiative have carried out a study focusing on fund flow and fund utilization in a number of development schemes (viz. SSA, NRHM, NRDWP, NBA, MGNREGS and RKVY) in selected districts across a few States; the findings of this study would be released in the National Convention on the first day.

Meanwhile, apart from opening and closing plenary sessions the National Convention shall have six other session spread over two days.

It may be pointed out here that People’s Budget Initiative is a civil society coalition, which campaigns for the inclusion of people's movements, grassroots organisations and national and international NGOs in the policy processes that determine the priorities underlying government budgets in India. The members of this coalition are from people's movements, grass-root organisations, national and international development organisations, academia and the media.

While CBGA is a policy research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. Started in 2002 as a programme of National Centre for Advocacy Studies, (NCAS), CBGA was registered as an independent non-profit organisation in 2005. CBGA serves as the Secretariat of People's Budget Initiative.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]
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