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Govt spent Rs 1,157 crore extra in 2017-18 sans prior approval: CAG

Comptroller and Auditor General report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday

Govt spent Rs 1,157 crore extra in 2017-18 sans prior approval: CAG

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, has slammed the government for spending Rs 1,157 crore on various heads during 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval of Parliament.

The CAG report on 'Financial Audit' of the Accounts of the Union Government stated that excess expenditure aggregating Rs 1,156.80 crore was incurred during 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval of Parliament. The report further noted that the Ministry of Finance did not devise a suitable mechanism in respect of new service/new instrument of service, which led to the extra spending.

The Department of Economic Affairs under Finance Ministry failed to obtain legislative approval for augmenting provision (for extra expenditure), the report added.

"As per the guidelines, any augmentation of provision by way of re-appropriation to the object heads (i) grants-in-aid (ii) subsidies (iii) major works attracts limitation of New Service (NS)/New Instrument of Service (NIS) and hence require prior approval of Parliament," CAG said in its report.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its 83rd report had also taken a serious view on cases of augmentation of the provision of object head 'grants-in-aid' and 'subsidies'.

The PAC had noted that these serious lapses are a pointer towards faulty budget estimation and deficient observances of financial rules by the ministries/ departments concerned.

There is an imperative need on the part of the Ministry of Finance to devise an effective mechanism for imposing financial discipline on all the ministries/departments so as to avoid recurrence of such serious lapses, CAG report said.

"Despite the PAC recommendations, Ministry of Finance had not devised a suitable mechanism, as result of which, during 2017-18 in cases across 13 grants, there was excess expenditure over total authorisation aggregating to Rs 1,156.80 crore without obtaining approval of Parliament," as per the report.

The CAG in its 2nd report of 2019 also stated that the CISF booked security deposit/advance of Rs 329 crore (till December 2017) as revenue receipts under major head-0055, thereby understating the liability of the government as reflected under deposits heads in public account.

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