The public budgets are different from other forms of budgets in many ways; here the voters delegate the power of spending their money to the politicians or the elected representatives. Now having understood the concept of budget in the last article, let us understand the different kinds of budget that are there in the public financial management:
The budgets in the parliamentary kind of system similar to what exists in a country like India become a tool of political negotiations where the budgeting powers are delegated to the Finance Minister of the country. In a single party government, the entire party shares the same views regarding the spending of the resources however; the disagreement arises when individual members may differ on the cost of the distributive policies and would want the government funds to be diverted to their respective electoral constituencies. In a coalition government, the differing opinions are tackled through compromise and contracts approach where the coalition parties keeps the check on the budget process ensuring that it lies within the boundaries of the agreed contract. The infamous fallout between the ruling UPA and the Trinamool Congress over the Railway Budget last year is worth citing in reference to the current discussion.
In the presidential kind of system too, the executive plays a somewhat similar process. A significant change that happened in US regarding the budget process was the Budget Enforcement Act passed in 1990s under the Bush administration, which protected the budgetary parameters against later modifications once cleared in the budget summit between the president and the legislature.
The budget process in different systems of government may vary but they are all aligned to achieve the relevant economic and social goals of that country. With increasing globalization and interdependent economies, several external considerations also come into play when the budgets are designed. We shall learn about the budget process in the next section.
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