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Convention on people's expectations on budgetary priorities on Oct. 24-25
Tuesday October 22, 2013 11:51 AM, Pervez Bari, ummid.com

A two-day National Convention is being organised on "People's Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from the New Union Government" on 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. The draft agenda of the two days National Convention shall be as follows:-

10.00 am – 11.15 am Opening Plenary Session Chaired by: Rajesh Tandon (Society for Participatory Research in Asia [PRIA], Delhi); Jagadanada (Centre for Youth and Social Development, Odisha); Ms Syeda Hameed (Member, Planning Commission of India) and Zoya Hasan (Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

11.30 am – 1.00 pm Session I: What Ails Utilisation of Funds in Development Schemes? - A Study by PBI Chaired by: Ravi Duggal (International Budget Partnership) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Mahender Jethmalani (Pathey, Ahmedabad) National Rural Health Mission Pallavi. K. Mali (Sanket, Bhopal) National Rural Drinking Water Programme David Sudhakar (Centre for Rural Studies and Development, Hyderabad) Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan Supriya Khound (North East Network, Guwahati) Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana Nesar Ahmad (Budget Analysis Rajasthan Centre, Jaipur) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Kris John Kumar (Social Watch-Tamil Nadu, Chennai)

1.45 pm – 3.45 pm Session II: Priorities for Critical Sectors Chaired by: Dhanajay Kakde (National Centre for Advocacy Studies, Pune) Education Ambarish Rai (Right to Education Forum) Health Narendra Gupta (Prayas/Jan Swasthya Abhiyan) Agriculture A. Ravindra (Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network) Food Security Dipa Sinha (Right to Food Campaign) Rural Development Yogesh Kumar (Samarthan Centre for Development Support, Bhopal) Water and Sanitation Indira Khurana (Independent Development Practitioner)

4.00 pm – 6.00 pm Session III: Priorities for Disadvantaged Sections of Population Chaired By: Annie Namala (Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Delhi) Women Jagmati Sangwan* (All India Democratic Women's Association) Children Sudeshna Sengupta (Mobile Crèches/Alliance for Rights to Early Childhood Care and Development) Persons with Disabilities Radhika Alkazi (Aarth-Astha/National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) Dalits Paul Divakar (National Coalition on SCP/TSP Legislation) Adivasis Arun Kumar (Ekta Parishad) Religious Minorities Razia Patel (Indian Institute of Education, Pune)

Meanwhile, on second day i.e. on 25th October 9.45 am – 10.00 am: Subrat Das, Executive Director, CBGA, Delhi will speak on "Enhancing Budget Transparency in India: Policy Asks by People's Budget Initiative and Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation

10.00 am – 11.15 am Session IV: Critical Policy Issues Chaired by: Vivek Pandit (Vidhayak Sansad, Maharashtra) Unorganised Workers Poornima Chikarmane (Pension Parishad Campaign) Climate Change Chandra Bhushan (Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi) Taxation Praveen Jha (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) 11.15 am – 1.15 pm Group Discussions (on People's Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from the Next Union Government)

2.00 pm – 3.45 pm Session V: Presentation of the Expectations across various themes (as consolidated in the Group Discussions) Chaired By: Sachin Jain (Vikas Samvad, Bhopal)

4.30 pm – 6.00 pm Closing Plenary Session Chaired by: Amitabh Behar (National Foundation for India) D. Raja (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha) K. Raju (All India Congress Committee, Indian National Congress) Prakash Javadekar (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha) Tapan Sen (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)

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. (pervezbari@eth.net)



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