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CAG for reorientation of budget formulation process

PTI     December 19, 2017

New Delhi, Dec 19 (PTI) Apex auditor CAG today expressed concern over large unspent funds in different government schemes and underlined the need for reorienting the budget formulation process.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in a report tabled in Parliament, observed that ministries concerned have surrendered large portion of money allocated towards schemes like Nirbhaya, Make in India, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, Senior Citizen Welfare Fund, and Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme.

The report is on the accounts of the government and analyses its finances for the year 2016-17. It also contains an analysis of the Appropriation Accounts and audit observations for the year.

In the report, the CAG observed that excess disbursements aggregating Rs 1,90,270 crore in 12 segments of Grants/ Appropriations, were made by the various ministries/ departments, over and above the authorisation made in the Appropriation Act in 2016-17.

The report has also noted "other deficiencies" like unspent funds of large amount (over Rs 100 crore) in different segments of Grants/ Appropriations aggregating Rs 2,28,640 crore, and obtaining supplementary grants of large amount during the course of the year, which eventually remained unutilised, surrender of savings on the last day of the financial year.

These deficiencies, the CAG said "indicate that there is need to re-orient the initial budget formulation process and to strengthen the monitoring mechanism of implementation of the budget".

Out Rs 286.27 crore allocated towards Nirbhaya scheme, the Ministry of Women and Child Development ended up disbursing only Rs 41.09 crore, leading to a savings of Rs 245.18 crore.

Similarly, large amount of savings were observed with regard to National Clean Energy Fund, National Ganga Plan, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

The report also noted an expenditure on interest on refunds amounting to Rs 2,598 crore was incurred by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, without the authorisation of Parliament during the year 2016-17.

A total expenditure of Rs 58,537 crore on interest payments had been incurred over the last nine years without obtaining approval of Parliament through necessary appropriations despite the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee.

The CAG further said various departments/ministries incorrectly classified revenue expenditure as capital expenditure and vice versa.

"The misclassifications resulted in under-statement of revenue expenditure by Rs 2,229.40 crore and over-statement of revenue expenditure by Rs 752.18 crore," the report said. PTI NKD CS BAL

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