Future-looking: Here are some ways that governments might improve budget data accessibility.

The Union Budget 2023–2024 was presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2023. In the upcoming months, the state governments will also present their individual budgets.

Future-looking: Here are some ways that governments might improve budget data accessibility.
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Newspapers and news outlets continue to be the main sources of information about budgetary announcements for the great majority of the public. More lately, the use of social media and other online media outlets is growing in popularity as a means of distributing budget highlights.

However, a sizeable percentage of those who are interested show very little interest in the budget materials themselves. Despite being a repository of crucial financial data, budget papers often discourage widespread public participation because of their complex and jargon-filled character.

There is a compelling justification for expanding the accessibility of fiscal data in the public realm in a way that is accessible, useable, and simple to understand in order to overcome that obstacle.

The Center has undertaken a number of projects to advance and improve the calibre of financial data released online by the authorities at various tiers.


The National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), 2012, is one such significant regulation that oversees open data in India. The policy’s overarching goal is to speed up access to transferable data and information owned by the government in formats that are both “human readable” and “machine readable.”

NDSAP has outlined a few critical principles to guarantee that the data given is meaningful, accessible, and simple to understand. Openness, flexibility, transparency, legal conformance, intellectual property rights, portability, excellence, security, efficiency, accountability, sustainability, and privacy are among them.

Similarly, in 2015, the government announced the Digital India Initiative with the goal of transforming India into a digitally enabled nation and powering its skilled workforce. It strives to promote the ‘Digital Empowerment of Citizens’.

It emphasises the availability of people-related papers (including budget records) electronically in a uniform manner. It also calls for making these documents available to citizens via web portals and mobile applications.

Data System Pillar of DGQI

Additionally, the NITI Aayog’s Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office has created a Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI). The purpose of DGQI is to assess how the different ministries and departments are gathering the data.

It emphasises straightforward and approachable methods for creating, managing, and using data, as well as their extensive dissemination for improved decision-making.

Under the Data Systems pillar of the DGQI, ministries and departments are rated on the basis of six major themes. Data analysis, utilisation, and dissemination have been given the most weight among them (30 per cent).

Other key factors for state governments to enhance the uptake of fiscal data and encourage public participation in budgetary processes include interactive and user-friendly data visualisation, the use of social media platforms for disseminating reliable information, and multilingual interfaces of departmental websites. The DGQI has the potential to improve financial transparency in the future.


Interventions like the NDSAP, Digital India Initiative, and DGQI can pave the road for innovation and future-ready fiscal data dissemination.

At the same time, making online information more accessible to the public will be a positive and much-needed step for improving public participation with budgets online.

Because the future is data-driven, the time has come to adopt new-age means of fiscal information dissemination that enable increased public awareness and involvement with budgets that affect everyone.

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