While, Narendra Modi government is jubilant with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Rafale jet flights deal, it seems to be uneasy with another report tabled in the Parliament yesterday, exposing financial mismanagement of the government.
The report stated that the Union government exceeded its expenditure by Rs 99,610 crore without parliamentary approval in the financial year 2017-18. “Audit of the Appropriation Accounts revealed failure of the accounting authorities from the highest to lowest levels to enforce accountability, resulting in violation of the principles enunciated above, leading to an excess expenditure of Rs 99,610 crore over Parliamentary authorisation during 2017-18,” said the report.
The report, Financial Audit of the Accounts of Union Government, also observed that “Such excess expenditure over grants approved by Parliament are in violation of the will of the Parliament and the basic principle of democracy that not a rupee can be spent without the approval of the Parliament, and therefore, must be viewed seriously.”
The CAG also said that during 2017-18, the entire cash supplementary remained unutilised in 18 cases across 15 grants. In 11 such cases involving cash supplementary of Rs 11,017 crore, actual expenditure was even less than the original provisions. It also highlighted that contrary to the procedure, Rs 94,036 crore collected under secondary and higher education cess was retained in the Consolidated Fund of India, instead of in the fund that has been created for this purpose.
The Ministry of Finance spent Rs 1,157 crore on various heads during FY 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval of the Parliament, the CAG report said. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) too, in its 83rd report, had taken a serious view on the cases of augmentation of provisions of the object heads ‘grants-in-aid’ and ‘subsidies’. The PAC noted that these serious lapses are a pointer towards faulty budget estimations and deficient observances of financial rules by the ministries/departments concerned.