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CAG presents a disturbing picture of govt spending

Topics
Cag Report  |  Cag  |  Union Budget

Business Standard Editorial Comment 

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Tuesday tabled its report on spending in Parliament. The national auditor expressed concern that the government has taken to financing its expenditure through various methods of borrowing that are not reflected in the headline numbers in the . It thus disguises the true level of the crucial revenue and fiscal deficits, and appears to be keeping to the path of even while deviating from it. There are multiple ways in which the government has been accused by the of concealing off-Budget expenditure. For example, special banking arrangements were used to conceal the deferment of fertiliser subsidies. Spending on irrigation was masked by borrowing by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development or . Railway expenditure was covered by borrowing by the Indian Railway Finance Corporation, and spending on by the Power Finance Corporation. None of these are under the Budget and thus subject to Parliamentary approval. Yet they are definitely aspects of spending. Thus, the balance of power between the executive and the legislature is being disturbed. It also fails to be transparent and thus short-changes savers and investors.

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First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 21:03 IST
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