Finance Ministry spent Rs 1,157 crore extra in 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval: CAG

CAG of India

The Ministry of Finance spent Rs 1,157 crore on several heads during 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval of Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament Tuesday said.

Over-expenditure aggregating Rs 1,156.80 crore was incurred during 2017-18 without obtaining prior approval of Parliament, the CAG report ‘Financial Audit’ of the Accounts of the Union Government said.

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 headed to the extra spending.

The Department of Economic Affairs under finance ministry failed to get 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 report stated.

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

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

There is an imperative need on the part of the Ministry of Finance to devise an effective mechanism for imposing financial discipline on every one of 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 the outcome of which, during 2017-18 in cases across 13 grants, there was excess expenditure over total authorization aggregating to Rs 1,156.80 crore without obtaining approval of Parliament,” as per the report.

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