IBP considers countries that score above 60 on the Open Budget Index as providing sufficient budget information to enable the public to engage in budget discussions in an informed manner. IBP considers countries scoring above 60 on participation and oversight as providing adequate opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process and providing adequate oversight practices, respectively.
Transparency (Open Budget Index)
out of 100
India provides the public with limited budget information.
How Has the Open Budget Index Score Changed Over Time?
India should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
Produce and publish a Pre-Budget Statement and a Mid-Year Review.
Increase the information provided in the Executive’s Budget Proposal by providing detailed information on the financial position of the government and extra-budgetary funds.
Increase the information provided in the Year-End Report by providing information on comparisons between planned revenues and actual outcomes and comparisons between the original macroeconomic forecast and actual outcomes.
Increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by publishing more information along with the Appropriation Bill or by indicating in the Appropriation Bill that the Executive’s Budget Proposal and its supporting documents are considered to be part of the Enacted Budget. The score for the Enacted Budget declined since 2015 because for cross-country consistency purposes the International Budget Partnership no longer considers the Executive’s Budget Proposal or its supporting documents to be part of the Enacted Budget unless they are specifically referenced in the approved budget or there is some official notice that these documents should be considered as part of the Enacted Budget.
out of 100
India provides few opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process.
How Does Public Participation Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Global Average 12/100
Sri Lanka 11/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation
India should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:
Pilot mechanisms for members of the public and government officials to exchange views on national budget matters during monitoring of the implementation of the national budget. These mechanisms could build on innovations, such as participatory budgeting and social audits. For examples of such mechanisms, see fiscaltransparency.net/mechanisms.
Hold legislative hearings on the formulation of the annual budget, during which members of the public or civil society organizations can testify.
Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution in formulating its audit program and to participate in relevant audit investigations.
Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)
out of 100
The legislature and supreme audit institution in India provide limited oversight of the budget.
To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?
The legislature provides limited oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides weak oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and limited oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.
To What Extent Does the Supreme Audit Institution Provide Budget Oversight?
The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.
Recommendations for Improving Oversight
India should prioritize the following actions to make budget oversight more effective:
Ensure the legislature holds a debate on budget policy prior to the tabling of the Executive’s Budget Proposal and approves recommendations for the upcoming budget.
Require legislative or judicial approval to appoint the head of the supreme audit institution.
Consider setting up an independent fiscal institution to further strengthen budget oversight.
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