A Successful Open Budget Meeting at Amtola Union

A Successful Open Budget Meeting at Amtola Union

To strengthen the relation between Union Parishad and citizen, CSO and LA Project has started to work with 25 Union Parishads under 03 upazila of Netrokona district i.e. Kendua, Netrakona sadar and Atpara.  Sabalamby Unnyan Samity (SUS) is implementing the project as a partner organization with the assistance of HELVETAS Intercooperation Germany. Among 25 Union Parishads, Amtola Union Parishad of Netrakona sadar upazila is one of them.

As per Union parishad’s Action Plan which was prepared according to CSOs local governance situation, Through personal interaction and interview, the project staffs came to know that in every year, union parishad prepare their budget through officious paperwork, though it should be open and participatory. In 1st year of the project, Amtola union parishad has announced the draft budget of 2017-2018 in front of all but it was not more interactive which was only supported by project staffs.

After training, CSO & LA project staffs inspired the UP for organizing ward shava and open budget meeting according to UP Act-2009. Amtola Union Parishad agreed and their first initiative was to ensure the ward shava of their 9 wards to hold open budget meeting as the first time with the active participation of wider community. According their plan, they organized all the wards shavas, where it has been made a ward development plan. CSO Committee helped to motivate the community people for their active participation.

After ward shava, Amtola union parishad arranged open budget meeting on 15 May 2018 with the participation of CSOs members and mass people. Before arranging open budget meeting, they circulated the meeting details (date, place etc.) through invitation card and miking among community for ensuring mass gathering.

Honorable Deputy Minister Mr. Arif Khan Joy, Youth & Sports participated as chief guest. Special guests were Mrs. Sabiha Sultana, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Netrakona Sadar, Mr. Md. Babul Azad, Project Manager, HELVETAS Intercooperation Germany (gGmbH), Mr. Kazi Sohul Ahmed, Program Director of Sabalamby Unnayan Samity.

Md. Shafi Ullah, UP Chairman of Amtola union parishad chaired in the meeting. A total of 1163 participants  where 165 CSO members, 286 women, 647 men, 43 disadvantaged from different categories and 22 from different leaders attended the meeting.  Md. Shafi Ullah declared the draft budget of Amtola union parishad for 2018-2019 in front of all.

In the open discussion, participants raised their queries about the draft budget and plan. UP chairman and secretary answered their questions. This is the 2nd time in that union; mass people got the opportunity to raise their opinions in budget process. After open discussion session, the draft budget was finalized with necessary correction.

UP chairman said, “It’s a new experience for us to organize the open budget meeting with the participation of all level of people of the union and it has been possible to organize with the support of CSO& LA project”.