The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found the budgetary assumptions of the Assam government ‘not realistic’ for the fiscal 2018-19, with control over the execution and monitoring of budget also ‘inadequate’.
In its audit report of the state finances for the year ending March 31, 2019, CAG said that non-submission of utilisation certificates (UCs) and non-reconciliation of receipts and expenditures reflecting ‘poorly on the internal control system’ and ‘monitoring mechanism’
of the state government.
The audit report was laid in the state assembly on August 31. The CAG said the budgetary assumptions were not realistic and budgetary estimates were “off the mark to a considerable extent, and control over the executive and monitoring of budget was inadequate”.
Significant policy initiatives were not fulfilled due to non-completion of preparatory activities and supplementary grants / appropriations were obtained without adequate justification, the report claimed, adding, “despite flagging this issue every year for the last several years, the state government has failed to take corrective measures in this regard.”
Further, with regards to budgetary management, savings during the year accounted for about a third of the budget but the controlling officers did not surrender the funds on time, while departments also did not vary their budgets in accordance with their ability to absorb the allocations.
In the quality of accounts and financial reporting practices, the CAG report said non-reconciliation of receipts and expenditure reflected poorly on the internal control system within the government and raised concerns relating to accuracy of accounts.
The report pointed to non-submission of UCs, detailed countersigned contingent bills for specific development projects, by autonomous councils, development boards and authorities, stating that it is indicated to “inadequate internal controls and reflect poorly on the monitoring mechanism of the state government”.