ISLAMABAD (APP) - The National Assemblys Standing Committees should perform their responsibilities as per constitutional provisions in an effective and proactive manner during the budget process to bring change. Syed Naveed Qamar Federal Minister for Privatisation stated while chairing a seminar on, Parliamentary Committees & Their Effective Role in Budget Process held under the auspices of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) here Thursday. The Minister said that there was a need for capacity building of the parliamentarians and to establish independent Budget Unit comprising experts for seeking guidance during the budget process. We do have the law, constitutional provisions and the institutions and we need to use all these available tools to expedite the budgetary process, however, it was not advisable to discuss budget and financial management matters under camera, he added. Syed Naveed Qamar further stated that for the first time the countrys defence budget was presented on the floor of the Parliament and in the coming years it would be looked in details. The chairperson NAs Standing Committee on Finance Ms. Fauzia Wahab said that we need to bring economic issues in our politics and we should not discuss only political issues for the sake of politics. No one has given any programme for poverty alleviation. We need to discuss how to improve and increase taxes and revenues, which was possible if we have economic specific approach whereas only 2.2 million of the whole population pays income tax, she informed. Elucidating the salient features of the economic indicators she said that foreign reserves have touched US $ 11.28 billion, foreign remittances have shown 20 % increase while during the last one-year 653 companies got registered with SECP, inflation ratio came down and interest rate reduced from 15 to 14 % and all these were encouraging signs. Sardar Mahtab Ahmed Khan MNA, a senior leader of PML (N) suggested that parliamentary committees should be assigned the role to review the budget of their respective ministries prior to its presentation in the House and sufficient time from 3 to 4 weeks should be given for debate including defence budget. Rashid Gondal MNA of MQM stressed the need for land reforms and corporate farming and said that we should ourselves streamline the financial discipline. The nation was worried about law and order and not the budget, he added. Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali Deputy Chairman Planning Commission while lauding the efforts of President Asif Ali Zardari for presenting Pakistans case in the Friends of Pakistan Forum in Japan said that Planning Commission has been made Peoples Planning Commission. Last year the PSDP was reduced from Rs.372 billion to Rs.200 billion, however, in the forthcoming budget would be improved, he said. To debate budget, the parliament has only 15 % sovereignty as 40 % portion is of charged budget i.e. foreign and local debt servicing and 45 % is defence budget, he informed. He further commented that the extremists were descending from the mountains to conquer the country and we need to defeat them collectively above all political differences. In his presentation the former Minister of State for Finance Omer Ayub Khan suggested that the Standing Committees should come up with structural role and to assess a rough estimate of fiscal deficit to ensure proactive role of the parliament. Khurram Dastagir MNA suggested to consider two years budget cycle and the departments having no utility should be closed. The Planning Commission should comprise on Parliamentarians, he stated.