"Open and participatory budget making is imperative for good governance; yet by international standards India fares badly on this count."Discuss critically.
Union Budget affects almost every section of the economy ranging from poor to rich. Participatory budgeting is the process by which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources. It creates opportunities for engaging, educating and empowering citizens, which can equip and advance a more vibrant civil society. However, in India the budget making process starts at Finance ministry and via few bureaucrats and higher ministers, it reaches back to Finance ministry. Thus; we see that in India the entire exercise of budget-making remains shrouded in complete secrecy till the budget is presented in the parliament and no concept of participatory budgeting. Furthermore, during the process of budget making, various lobby groups, representing the interests of industrialists, traders and exporters are able to express their interests. However, there is no visible lobbying with the Finance Ministers for the poor and marginalized sections of the population. Thus, general public and civil society organizations have been traditionally excluded from the budget making process in India. Thus, open and participatory budget making is imperative for good governance; yet by international standards India fares badly on this count. (178 words)
Topics: GS-III: Government Budgeting