Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Devolution and Fiscal Decentralisation

Fiscal decentralisation represents the transfer of resources from higher to lower levels of government usually accompanied by an enhancement in responsibilities and functions of sub- national governments and greater autonomy in their budget making and financial decisions. The rising demand generally for decentralisation in developing countries in recent years is a consequence of the broader processes of globalisation, liberalisation and deregulation. Political imperatives for decentralisation have been created by the urge for more effective democratisation and the need to bring governments closer to the people for greater accountability and better articulation of their needs and preferences. In a number of countries, including Pakistan, the failure of central or state/provincial governments to adequately capture local preferences and provide basic services have strengthened the case for use of local governments as delivery agents, such that the production and distribution of services is carried down to the lowest unit of government capable of capturing the associated costs and benefits.

Aisha Ghaus-Pasha, Hafiz A. Pasha