India ranks 13 in financial transparency scale

February 5th, 2009 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) India has been ranked 13 in a survey of 85 countries on transparency of national budgetary allocations and financial activities.According to the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) and the International Budget Partnership based in Washington, India is among 27 other countries which provides some, albeit incomplete, information to the public on the national budget.

The listing puts Britain and South Africa at the top of the list with Rwanda and Congo trailing at the end.

“India publishes detailed in-year reports, but its mid-year review lacks important details. For instance, it does not reflect revised expenditure and revenue estimates, and it does not provide a breakdown of how much is spent for individual programmes.

“Making the mid-year report more comprehensive would facilitate public accountability, since it provides an update on how the budget is being implemented during the year and allows for midcourse corrections,” Siba Sankar Mohanty of CBGA said.

“There are ways in which India’s budget process could be made more open. The legislature can hold hearings on the budget in which the public can submit testimony. Thus opportunities for citizen participation in budget debates could be increased,” he added.

He, however, said the Right to Information (RTI) Act has become an important tool for the common man to evaluate the government’s progress.

Among the countries who provide extensive information about their government’s financial activities, according to the survey, are the US, New Zealand, France, Britain and South Africa.

Amongst those featuring lowest in the list are Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Sudan.

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