The recent Budget Session of the National Assembly was yet another of its kind where form and formality completely overshadowed the substance. There were speeches by the dozens but hardly any meaningful input was provided to improve the Budget. Unlike various non-state institutions and media-houses who organise pre-budget consultations, there was hardly any pre-budget forum for the elected representatives in the National Assembly and Senate where they could give their ideas, opinions, advice or recommendations about the broad outlines of the next budget before the budget was shaped. Nor, in turn, did the elected representatives consult the people or various interest groups to act as a conduit of public opinion to the Government. Like almost always, the entire business of presentation of the budget, debate on the proposals, cut-motions, and the passage took no more than 10 days.