Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Open Budget Survey 2017 rankings topped by New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden; India categorized as 'Limited Information Available'

From https://www.internationalbudget.org/open-budget-survey/, "Launched in 2006, the Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative assessment of the three pillars of public budget accountability: transparency, oversight and public participation. The sixth round of this biennial assessment, the 2017 survey evaluated 115 countries across six continents, adding 13 new countries to the survey since the last round in 2015."

Here is the Open Budget (Survey) Index 2017 rankings page: https://www.internationalbudget.org/open-budget-survey/open-budget-index-rankings/ .

Some key info. from it is given below.

* New Zealand (89/100), South Africa (89/100) and Sweden (87/100) take the top three positions and are categorized as "Extensive Information Available" (81 to 100 marks out of 100).

* Mexico (79/100), Brazil (77/100), United States (77/100), United Kingdom (74/100) and Russia (72/100) are some of the countries categorized as "Substantial Information Available" (61 to 80 marks out of 100).

* Japan (60/100), South Korea (60/100), Nepal (52/100), Afghanistan (49/100), India (48/100), Sri Lanka (44/100), Pakistan (44/100) and Bangladesh (41/100) are some of the countries categorized as "Limited Information Available" (41 to 60 marks out of 100).

* Macedonia (37/100), Bosnia Herzegovina (35/100), Trinidad and Tobago (33/100) and Zimbabwe (23/100) are some of the countries categorized as "Minimal Information Available" (21 to 40 marks out of 100).

* China (13/100), Myanmar (7/100), Saudi Arabia (1/100), Venezuela (0/100), Qatar (0/100) and Yemen (0/100) are some of the countries categorized as "Scant or No Information Available" (0 to 20 marks out of 100).

Ravi: India's grading as 48/100 and so as "Limited Information Available" category for Budget transparency is not surprising. It is a poor grade and Indian govt. should strive to increase its budget transparency. For ordinary Indian citizens, the main means of knowing India's federal budget is through the Finance minister's speech in Parliament and in the media articles about it. Perhaps the finance ministry website provides some information - I have not checked that out. But the media articles indicate that detailed information is hard to get about the Indian budget as compared to say USA budget which is graded at 77/100 and in the "Substantial Information Available" category. I think India should strive to match the grade of the USA in this matter.

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