India Abroad

Global Survey Ranks India 53 On Budget Transparency, Scoring Above Average

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| February 1 , 2018 , 10:15 IST

India has been ranked 53 out of 115 countries in terms of budget transparency in the Open Budget Survey (2017) conducted by International Budget Partnership (IBP), the results of which were released on Tuesday.

In the survey on budget transparency which is conducted every two years, India scored 48 out of 100 points, an increase of 2 percentage points from the last survey of 2015, scoring slightly better than the global average of 43 points. The global average score of budget transparency as per the survey has reduced from 2015, when the global average was 45 points.

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) conducts global surveys every two years using more than a hundred indicators to assess budget transparency of individual nations based on the amount of details, level of details and timelines of budget information that is provided to the public. For the 2017 survey, documents published before December 2016 were taken into assessment.

Top ranking countries in the survey were New Zealand and South Africa with 89 points each, whereas 6 countries including Yemen, Qatar and Venezuela scored 0 points. The 0 score represented that no budget information was released to the public.

IBP has advised that to improve budget transparency India should draft and publish a pre-budget statement and a mid-year review, apart from the current annual budget release. In addition, India should increase the amount of information released in the executive budget by providing details on the financial position of the government and extra-budgetary funds and also release comparisons between planned revenues/forecasts and actual outcomes.

India based think-tank, the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability which partnered with IBP blamed Non-publication of a pre-budget statement and mid-year review for India's low score in the survey.

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"In terms of publishing timely and relevant information in the audit reports and year-end reports, India has scored well above other countries. Non-publication of a pre-budget statement and mid-year review in 2016 lowered India's score," it said in a statement.

"However, had the survey been carried out for financial year 2017-18, India's score would have been higher, advancing the presentation of the budget by a month since last year has made the earlier practice of Vote on Account redundant and the full budget gets enacted before the start of the new financial year," the think-tank added.