Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG):
Former Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu was recently appointed as the new Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
- The Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in chapter V under Part V.
- The CAG is mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151.
- He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.
- He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels- the centre and state.
- His duty is to uphold the Constitution of India and the laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration.
Appointment and Term to Constitutionals Posts:
- The CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal.
- He holds office for a period of six years or upto the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- CAG audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of each state and UT having a legislative assembly.
- CAG audits all expenditure from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the Contingency Fund and Public Account of each state.
- CAG audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and the state governments.
- CAG audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the Central or State revenues; government companies; other corporations and bodies, when so required by related laws.
- He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds of any tax or duty and his certificate is final on the matter.
- He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre and State to the President and Governor, who shall, in turn, place them before both the houses of Parliament and the state legislature respectively.
- He submits 3 audit reports to the President: audit report on appropriation accounts, audit report on finance accounts and audit report on public undertakings.
CAG and PAC:
He acts as a guide, friend and philosopher of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.
CAG along with its mandatory regulatory and compliance audit performs the performance as well as efficiency audit to question executive’s wisdom and economy in order to identify cases of improper expenditure and waste of public money.
Constitutional provisions which ensure the independence of CAG are:
- CAG is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed by the president only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution. Thus, he does not hold his office till the pleasure of the president, though he is appointed by him.
- He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.
- His salary and other service conditions are determined by the Parliament. His salary is equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
- Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
- Differences between Consolidated and Contingency funds of India.
- About Public Accounts Committee.
- Reports submitted by CAG to the President.
- CAG is appointed by?
- Appointment and removal of CAG.
CAG is instrumental in securing accountability of the executive to the parliament in the sphere of financial administration. Explain. List the constitutional provisions to ensure the independence of the CAG.