Research and Analysis - Using the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) for diagnostic purpose in Health Sector in Maharashtra (December 2009 to December 2012)

I.A. The Budget is an official policy document, which is indicative of the expenditure incurred and reflective of the policy priorities of the government. The budgetary processes in India are opaque and remain behind the extreme confidentiality of bureaucratic exercises. Even when accessed, the documents are not presented in a language and format that is user-friendly; the language used is too technical to understand making it difficult to comprehend. People, in general, consider the budget highly technical and very difficult, and only a miniscule proportion of the population understands the technicalities involved. Besides, the most crucial stage of the budget process, that of budget preparation does not allow any kind of participation by civil society organisations. In order to be conducive to public involvement, public understanding and involvement in the budget process is critical for ensuring that the Government is accountable to the public. This Public Expenditure Tracking Survey, conducted in two districts in Maharashtra, explores the budget process through its various stages. The findings of the study outline budgetary processes; the range of issues discussed will help the reader understand all four stages of the budget process (formulation, approval, implementation and auditing).This information on the key actors in the system will not only hold them accountable, but will also help civil society organizations identify opportunities for civic participation.

I.B.Maharashtra is one of India's richest states, yet in spite of various government initiatives, many poor people rely on costly private services rather than low-quality public services. The introduction of NRHM only seems to have exacerbated these problems with an increased number of resource channels at the district level creating a substantial potential for fund leakage and divergence. From the 33 districts in Maharashtra, Solapur (From Marathwada region) and Amaravati (from Vidharbha region) have been chosen for the study. After the rapid assessment and preliminary information collection, the study design has been finalized.