Budget Current Affairs - 2020

India ranks 53rd in Budget Transparency and Accountability

According to the Open Budget Survey conducted by the International Budget Partnership, India ranked 53rd among 117 countries in budget transparency and accountability.

Highlights: World

India scored 49 out 0f 100 in the survey. The score was above the global average of 45. New Zealand scored 87 and topped the list. South Africa, Mexico and Brazil were the other top performers with scores 87, 82 and 81 respectively.

Highlights: India

The survey gave better scores for India for its timely publishing and relevant information in the audit reports. According to the survey, absence of pre-budget statement and mid-year review in the year 2018-19 was the main reason for India to scoreless in the survey.

Suggestions

The survey suggests to maintain high degree of transparency in government finances in order to ensure the public resources are used judiciously. An integrated expenditure information architecture has to be built in every district headquarters. This will help the coordination and management committees at district level to enforce accountability and improve budget transparency

About the Survey

The survey evaluated every country based on their issuance of information to the public in a timely manner. Also, they assessed how far the countries allowed public participation in order to prepare the ranking.

Parliamentary Panel: More than 40% of schools are without power and playgrounds

A Parliamentary panel set up on education submitted its report to Rajya Sabha on 2020-21 demand for grants. The report said that shortfalls in budget funds has led to critical infrastructure gaps.

Key findings of the report

The Panel in its report says that more than 27% cuts have been made in budget allocations for school education. The report also says that only 56% of schools have electricity. The lowest rates were found in Manipur and Madhya Pradesh. Also, only 57% of schools have playgrounds. A boundary wall which is essential for safety of students and school property was not found in 40% of the schools.

Recommendations

The panel recommended that the Ministry of HRD shall collaborate with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to make developments. The scheme shall also be used to provide renewable energy to give access of power to schools. According to the report, the performance of the schools were better where the above facilities were implemented.