Budgeting is the process of estimating the availability of resources and then allocating them to various activities of an organization according to a pre-determined priority. In most cases, approval of a budget also means the approval to various spending units to utilize the allocated resources. Budgeting plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the nation.
Budget is the annual statement of the outlays and tax revenues of the government of India together with the laws and regulations that approve and support those outlays and tax revenues . The budget has two purposes in general:
1. To finance the activities of the union government
2. To achieve macroeconomic objectives.
The Budget contains the financial statements of the government embodying the estimated receipts and expenditure for one financial year, ie. it is a proposal of how much money is to be spent on what and how much of it will
be contributed by whom or raised from where during the coming year.
Different types of Budgeting
Economists throughout the globe have classified the budgets into different types based on the process and purpose of the budgets, which are as follows:-
1. The Line Item Budget
line-item budgeting was introduced in some countries in the late 19th centuary. Indeed line item budgeting which is the most common form of budgeting in a large number of countries and suffers from several drawbacks was a major reform initiative then. The line item budget is defined as “the budget in which the individual financial statement items are grouped by cost centers or departments .It shows the comparison between the financial data for the past accounting or budgeting periods and estimated figures for the current or a future period”In a line-item system, expenditures for the budgeted period are listed according to objects of expenditure, or “line-items.” These line items include detailed ceilings on the amount a unit would spend on salaries, travelling allowances, office expenses, etc. The focus is on ensuring that the agencies
or units do not exceed the ceilings prescribed. A central authority or the Ministry of Finance keeps a watch on the spending of various units to ensure that the ceilings are not violated. The line item budget approach is easy to understand and implement. It also facilitates centralized control and fixing of authority and responsibility of the spending units. Its major disadvantage is that it does not provide enough information to the top levels about the activities and achievements of individual units.
2. Performance Budgeting
a performance budget reflects the goal/objectives of the organization and spells out performance targets. These targets are sought to be achieved through a strategy. Unit costs are associated with the strategy and allocations are accordingly made for achievement of the objectives. A Performance Budget gives an indication of how the funds spent are expected to give outputs and ultimately the outcomes. However, performance budgeting has a limitation – it is not easy to arrive at standard unit costs especially in social programmes which require a multi-pronged approach.
3. Zero-based Budgeting
The concept of zero-based budgeting was introduced in the 1970s. As the name suggests, every budgeting cycle starts from scratch. Unlike the earlier systems where only incremental changes were made in the allocation, under zero-based budgeting every activity is evaluated each time a budget is made and only if it is established that the activity is necessary, are funds allocated to it. The basic purpose of Zero-based Budgeting is phasing out of programmes/ activities which do not have relevance anymore. However, because of the efforts involved in preparing a zero-based budget and institutional resistance related to personnel issues, no government ever implemented a full zero-based budget, but in modified forms the basic principles of ZBB are often used.
4. Programme Budgeting and Performance Budgeting
Programme budgeting in the shape of planning, programming and budgeting system (PPBS) was introduced in the US Federal Government in the mid-1960s. Its core themes had much in common with earlier strands of performance budgeting.
Programme budgeting aimed at a system in which expenditure would be planned and controlled by the
objective. The basic building block of the system was classification of expenditure into programmes, which meant objective-oriented classification so that programmes with common objectives are considered together.
It aimed at an integrated expenditure management system, in which systematic policy and expenditure planning would be developed and closely integrated with the budget. Thus, it was too ambitious in scope. Neither was adequate preparation time given nor was a stage-by-stage approach adopted. Therefore, this attempt to introduce PPBS in the federal government in USA did not succeed, although the concept of performance budgeting and programme budgeting endured.
Budgetary control refers to how well managers utilize budgets to monitor and control costs and operations in a given accounting period. In other words, budgetary control is a process for managers to set financial and performance goals with budgets, compare the actual results, and adjust performance, as it is needed.
Budgetary control involves the following steps :
(a) The objects are set by preparing budgets.
(b) The business is divided into various responsibility centres for preparing various budgets.
(c) The actual figures are recorded.
(d) The budgeted and actual figures are compared for studying the performance of different cost centres.
(e) If actual performance is less than the budgeted norms, a remedial action is taken immediately.
The main objectives of budgetary control are the follows:
1. To ensure planning for future by setting up various budgets, the requirements and expected performance of the enterprise are anticipated.
2. To operate various cost centres and departments with efficiency and economy.
3. Elimination of wastes and increase in profitability.
4. To anticipate capital expenditure for future.
5. To centralise the control system.
6. Correction of deviations from the established standards.
7. Fixation of responsibility of various individuals in the organization.
Responsibility accounting is an underlying concept of accounting performance measurement systems. The basic idea is that large diversified organizations are difficult, if not impossible to manage as a single segment, thus they must be decentralized or separated into manageable parts.
These decentralized parts are divided as : 1) revenue centers, 2) cost centers, 3) profit centers and 4) investment centers.
In India the budget is prepared from top to bottom approach and responsible accounting would not only improve the efficiency of Indian budgetary system but also will help in performance analysis.
Social accounting is concerned with the statistical classification of the activities of human beings and human institutions in ways which help us to understand the operation of the economy as a whole.
Social accounting is the process of communicating the social and environmental effects of organizations’ economic actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at large
The components of social accounting are production, consumption, capital accumulation, government transactions and transactions with the rest of the world.
The uses of social accounting are as follows:
(1) In Classifying Transactions
(2) In Understanding Economic Structure
(3) In Understanding Different Sectors and Flows
(4) In Clarifying Relations between Concepts
(5) In Explaining Movements in GNP
(6) Provide a Picture of the Working of Economy
(7) In Explaining Interdependence of Different Sectors of the Economy
(8) In Estimating Effects of Government Policies
(9) Helpful in Big Business Organisations
(10) Useful for International Purposes
(11) Basis of Economic Models
Budgetary Deficit is the difference between all receipts and expenditure of the government, both revenue and capital. This difference is met by the net addition of the treasury bills issued by the RBI and drawing down of cash balances kept with the RBI. The budgetary deficit was called deficit financing by the government of India. This deficit adds to money supply in the economy and, therefore, it can be a major cause of inflationary rise in prices.
Budgetary Deficit of central government of India was Rs. 2,576 crores in 1980-81, it went up to Rs. 11,347 crores in 1990-91 to Rs. 13,184 crores in 1996-97.
The concept of budgetary deficit has lost its significance after the presentation of the 1997-98 Budget. In this budget, the practice of ad hoc treasury bills as source of finance for government was discontinued. Ad hoc treasury bills are issued by the government and held only by the RBI. They carry a low rate of interest and fund monetized deficit. These bills were replaced by ways and means advance. Budgetary deficit has not figured in union budgets since 1997-98. Since 1997-98, instead of budgetary deficit, Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) became the key indicator.