Sri Lanka has been ranked 60 among 115 counties in the world on the recent assessment of the 2013/2014 and 2016/2017 budget processes.
The ranking was released on the Open Budget Survey (OBS), the world’s only independent assessment of information disclosure in public budgets, Verite Research Executive Director Nishan De Mel revealed at a media briefing held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute in Colombo on Tuesday.
“The survey in conducted every two years. The recent assessments of the 2013/2014 and 2016/2017 budget processes have placed Sri Lanka 60th in the world and amongst the lowest ranked countries in South Asia,” said Mr. De Mel.
In 2004/2005 Sri Lanka scored 47, then again in 2008/2009 the country scored 67 out of 100 (points) in terms of performance. In the latest survey of the 2016/2017 budget process, Sri Lanka scored 44 out of 100, just on top of Bangladesh which ended at the bottom of the South Asian table. Afghanistan performed better coming in 49th position ahead of Sri Lanka, he added.
In an open budget survey budget documents, budget oversight and public participation has to be included, he stated.
Mr. De Mel noted that less than 10 per cent of the budget allocations are presented in parliament at the budget speech, leaving out the rest. “The draft estimates are difficult to comprehend, spanning three volumes of about 500 pages each, and the budget speech focusses mainly on new expenditure proposals that cover less than 10 per cent of the budgeted expenditure, leaving the rest opaque,” he said. The public doesn’t receive a comprehensive idea about the whole budget proposals, he added. (Raj)
Taken from Times Online