Nepal has ranked 46th in the world in transparency and accountability with its national budget, according to a biennial report released by the International Budget Partnership on Friday.
An initiative of the International Budget Partnership, the Open Budget Survey 2010 is the only independent, comparative, regular measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world, produced by independent experts not beholden to national governments.
“Access to budget information is crucial to ensure democratic and accountable governance which is reflected in service delivery to public. It is the duty of the government to provide with its people the extensive information on budget in a comprehensive manner so that they can participate in budget making to monitoring process,” said Taranath Dahal, chairperson of Freedom Forum, which worked on the report.
The Open Budget Survey-2010 for Nepal was carried out by Freedom Forum.
The report further said despite Nepal's success, the Open Budget Survey 2010 found that 74 of the 94 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability with national budgets.
“Greater transparency enables better oversight, better access to credit, better policy choices, and better service delivery,” said Warren Krafchik, Director of the International Budget Partnership.
Krafchik has given an example that how a lack of budget transparency in Nigeria allowed corruption and mismanagement to go unchecked. Similarly, he noted Mexico as a case in which access to budget information ensured that poor farmers received subsidies intended for them that previously were diverted to wealthy farmers.
Based on documented evidence, the Open Budget Survey 2010 finds that just seven of 94 countries assessed release extensive budget information, and 40 countries release no meaningful budget information.
The Open Budget Survey uses internationally recognised criteria to give each country a transparency score on a 100-point scale called the Open Budget Index.