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Open budget survey

Topics Covered: Government Budgeting.

Open budget survey

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and findings of the survey.

For Mains: Observations made about India, concerns and ways to address them.

Context: The report of Open budget survey, conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), has been released.

The Open Budget Survey is part of the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Initiative, a global research and advocacy program to promote public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable budget systems.

How are the countries ranked?

  1. The open budget survey has been covering 117 countries. It rates the level of transparency in budget across nations on a scale of 0-100.
  2. The rating of the countries by the survey is based on various normative and internationally comparable indicators.
  3. The survey evaluates each country on the basis of the availability of eight key budget documents of the Central or Federal government. The survey assesses whether these documents are made public and whether they provide comprehensive information or not.

Highlights of the survey:

  1. India is placed at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget accountability and transparency.
  2. IBP has provided a transparency score of 49 out of 100 to India’s Union budget process. The provided score to India is higher than the global average score of 45.
  3. As per the survey, India has performed well in timely publishing and providing relevant information in the audit reports and in year reports. It has scored well and higher than in many other countries.
  4. Other developing countries, with an exception to China, have scored much higher transparency scores in comparison to India.

Suggestions made by IBP survey for India:

  1. Provide adequate space for public participation in budgets.
  2. Before the annual budget is presented, the Union government should publish a pre-budget statement that can be scrutinised by the legislatures as well as by the public.

What is Budget Transparency?

Budget transparency refers to the extent and ease with which citizens can access information about and provide feedback on government revenues, allocations, and expenditures. Budgets are key documents since they lay out a government’s priorities in terms of policies and programs. Opening up budgets is a first step toward democratizing the budget process and giving citizens a say in policy formulation and resource allocation.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is open budget initiative?
  2. Appropriation vs Finance bills- similarities and differences.
  3. Scope of discussion and amendments to appropriation bill.
  4. Powers of Rajya Sabha wrt to Appropriation Bill vs role of speaker.
  5. Procedure to be followed while passing appropriation bill vs financial bills.
  6. Consolidated vs Contingency funds.
  7. Guillotine- applicability and implications.
  8. Components of annual financial statement.

Sources: Business Standard.