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Apex auditor CAG today pulled up Finance Ministry for allowing income tax department to incur over Rs 7,700 crore on interest on refunds without authorisation of Parliament during 2015-16.
The Constitution of India provides that no money should be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law.
"An expenditure on interest on refunds amounting to Rs 7,704 crore was incurred by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, without the authorisation of Parliament during the year 2015-16," said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in a report tabled in Parliament.
A total expenditure of Rs 55,939 crore on interest payments had been incurred over the last eight years without obtaining approval of Parliament through necessary appropriations despite the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, it added.
The Union Government's Finance and Appropriation Accounts for 2015-16 along with the Audit report of the CAG were presented in Parliament.
This is the third time since Independence and the second consecutive time since last year that the Annual Accounts of the Union Government have been tabled in Parliament in the same calendar year, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The report also said out of the total receipts of Rs 9,835.70 crore towards Universal Access Levy (UAL) during 2015-16, the Department of Telecommunications transferred Rs 3,100 crore to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USO Fund).
It was in turn utilised to meet the expenditure of Rs 3,099.97 crore on identified objectives and the closing balance under the USO Fund was shown as Rs 0.03 crore.
Further, against the total collection of UAL of Rs 75,952.93 crore during 2002-03 to 2015-16, a total sum of Rs 30,083.47 crore was transferred to the Fund during these period.
"The remaining levy of Rs 45,869.46 crore was not transferred to the USO Fund," the report said.
CAG also pointed out that against the total collection of Rs 73,468.52 crore as Secondary and Higher Education Cess (SHEC) during 2006-07 to 2015-16, no amount could be transferred to the earmarked fund in Public Account as neither the schemes were identified on which the cess proceeds were to be spent nor the designated fund was opened in the Public Account to deposit the proceeds of SHEC.
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