The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is an authority, established by Article 148 of the Constitution of India, which audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government. The CAG is also the external auditor of Government-owned corporations and conducts supplementary audit of government companies, i.e., any non-banking/ non-insurance company in which Union Government has an equity share of at least 51 per cent or subsidiary companies of existing government companies. The reports of the CAG are taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees (PACs) and Committees on Public Undertakings (COPUs), which are special committees in the Parliament of India and the state legislatures. The CAG is also the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, the affairs of which are managed by officers of Indian Audit and Accounts Service, and has over 58,000 employees across the country.
The CAG is mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151.
The CAG is ranked 9th and enjoys the same status as a judge of Supreme Court of India in Indian order of precedence. The current CAG of India is Rajiv Mehrishi, who assumed office on 25 September 2017. He is the 13th CAG of India.
The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India is appointed by the President of India following a recommendation by the Prime Minister. On appointment, he/she has to make an oath or affirmation before the President of India.
Oath or affirmation
"I,(name of the person being appointed), having appointed Comptroller and Auditor-General of India do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws.
Duties of the CAG
As per the provisions of the constitution, the CAG's (DPC) (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971 was enacted. As per the various provisions, the duties of the CAG include the audit of:
Receipts and expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India and of the State and Union Territory having legislative assembly.
Trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts and balance sheets, and other subsidiary accounts kept in any Government department; Accounts of stores and stock kept in Government offices or departments.
Government companies as per the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
Corporations established by or under laws made by Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the respective legislation.
Authorities and bodies substantially financed from the Consolidated Funds of the Union and State Governments. Anybody or authority even though not substantially financed from the Consolidated Fund, the audit of which may be entrusted to the C&AG.
Grants and loans given by Government to bodies and authorities for specific purposes.
Entrusted audits e.g. those of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies under Technical Guidance & Support (TGS).
Recently the CAG under Vinod Rai has constantly been in the limelight for its reports exposing mega corruption, particularly in 2G spectrum case, Commonwealth Games scam and other scams.
In June 2012, Lal Krishna Advani a veteran Indian politician and former Deputy Prime Minister of India (as well as former Leader of the Opposition in Indian Parliament) suggested that CAG's appointment should be made by a bipartisan collegium consisting of the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Law Minister and the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, M Karunanidhi, the head of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party and five times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu supported the suggestion. Advani made this demand to remove any impression of bias or lack of transparency and fairness because, according to him, the current system was open to "manipulation and partisanship". Similar demand was made by many former CEC's such as B B Tandon, N Gopalaswamy and S Y Quraishi, however the government did not seem too keen.
CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta wrote a letter to the PM and demand CAG has appointed by the collegium of consisting the PM, the CJI and the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha but the PM declined. Former CAG V. K. Shunglu has suggested in its CWG scam report that CAG be made a multi-member body.
PMO minister V.Narayanasamy in his interview with PTI said Government is considering the Shunglu panel report but PM and Finance Minister declined it. Later V. Narayanasamy said he misquoted but PTI reaffirmed it.
The salary and other conditions of service of the CAG are determined by the Parliament of India through "The Comptroller and Auditor-General's (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971". His salary is same as that of judge of the Supreme court of India. Neither his salary nor rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. The CAG is not eligible for further office either under the Government of India or under the Government of any State after he has ceased to hold his office. These provisions are in order to ensure the independence of CAG.
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Tag : www.cag.gov.in