Government spent Rs 1,157 cr in 2017-18 without approval: CAG

New Delhi (IANS) The Centre spent Rs 1,150 crore more during the last fiscal across various grants without Parliament's authorisation, the national auditor said here on Tuesday.

"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," the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said. 

The CAG's financial audit tabled in the Lok Sabha pointed to the Finance Ministry's failure to devise an effective mechanism to impose financial discipline on ministries and departments to avoid recurrence of "such serious lapses", as had been recommended by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Under the government guidelines, the 13 cases listed relate to expenditure arising out of a new policy decision not brought to the notice of Parliament earlier, and to relatively large expenditure arising out of major expansion of an existing activity. 

"As per the guidelines, any augmentation of provision by way of re-appropriation to the object heads -- grants-in-aid, subsidies and major works -- require prior approval of Parliament," the CAG said. 

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

The CAG report stated that the PAC's earlier recommendation that "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 to avoid recurrence of such serious lapses".

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