Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : International Institutions – Summits, Working, Organisations Mains Syllabus : GS-II Important International Institutions, Agencies and fora- their Structure, Mandate.

Why in News?

  • The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has recently released an Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2019.

About Open Budget Survey:

  • It 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.
  • It is a biennial survey, which covers 117 countries.
  • It rates the level of budget transparency across countries on a scale of 0-100, based on several normative, internationally comparable indicators
  • It evaluates each country on the basis of the availability of key budget documents of the Central or Federal Government, and assesses whether these are made public, in a timely manner, and provide comprehensive information.

About International Budget Partnership (IBP):

  • It is a collaborative effort of multiple actors – including civil society, state actors, international institutions and the private sector.
  • It was formed in 1997 to promote transparent and inclusive government budget processes as a means to improve governance and service delivery in the developing world.
  • It intends to bring citizens participation in open, inclusive budgeting processes to shape policies and practices that promote equity and justice on a sustainable basis.
  • It focusses on citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) was driven by the pioneering civil society budget monitoring efforts in a small number of middle-income countries in the early 1990s.
  • Its ultimate aim is to ensure that public resources are used more effectively to fight poverty and promote equitable and sustainable development in countries around the world.

 About the Global Scenario in OBS:

  • In OBS 2019, it finds a modest global improvement in budget transparency, which is consistent with the overall trend measured by the survey over the past years.
  • The global average transparency score has turned out to be 45 out of 100 and thus levels of publicly available budget information remains limited.
  • New Zealand tops the chart with a score of 87. Further, South Africa (87), Mexico (82) and Brazil (81) are among the top six countries providing extensive information to the public for scrutiny.
  • The citizens’ participation in the budget process continued to be at a dismal level and thus average global scores on the OBS participation measure remains 14 out of 100.
  • Out of 117 countries only 30 surveyed countries have adequate scores both for audit and for legislative oversight.

About Indian Scenario in OBS:

  • India has been placed at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget transparency and accountability.
  • India’s Union Budget process has a transparency score of 49 out of 100, which is higher than the global average of 45.
  • Some of the other large developing countries, with the exception of China, have got much higher transparency scores compared to India.
  • The public participation in its budgets has been flagged as an area of improvement required for India.
  • The absence of a published Pre-Budget Statement and not bringing out a Mid-Year Review in 2018-19 pulled down the transparency score for the Union Budget of India.

Way Ahead:

  • Though many governments and citizens have embraced the open budgeting agenda, more efforts to translate good intentions into better practice are required.
  • A global effort of joint, sustained activism is needed to accelerate progress and deliver the promises of open Budgeting to all Citizens.
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