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General Awareness > Economics and Governance > Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Economics and Governance

Comptroller and Auditor General of India

The knowledge about the government machinery and its functions is very important for a complete understanding of the Indian Polity and Governance. The following section will make you aware of this important position. We will see what this position is, also we will get to know about all other aspects of this position. Let us see further.

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Comptroller and Auditor General of India

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India or the CAG 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 office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has been established by the Constitution of India (Constitution). All the Union and State government departments are subject to the audit of the CAG, including commercial and non-commercial government institutions, autonomous bodies financed from Union or State revenues and companies where equity participation by the government is in excess of 51%. These audits are reviewed by the Public Accounts Committees of the Parliament of India and State legislative bodies. The CAG also controls the Indian Audit and Accounts Service.

cag

Government Audit

An audit is an official inspection of an organization’s accounts, typically by an independent body. The Government Audit plays an important role in the scheme of parliamentary financial control and ensures that the executive bodies keep expenditure and budget allocation within the sums allotted and for the purposes authorized. It is absolutely necessary that some independent person scrutinizes government spending and checks whether it has been in accordance with Parliamentary sanctions. In the absence of such a scrutiny, parliamentary control over appropriations made by the executive bodies may be frustrated. The CAG also satisfies himself on behalf of the Parliament as to the wisdom, faithfulness and economy of expenditure.

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Provisions In The Constitution

Art. 149 — The Comptroller and Auditor General shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States as were conferred on or exercisable by the Auditor General of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in relation to the accounts of the Dominion of India of the Provinces respectively.

Art. 150 — The Accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, may with the approval of the President, prescribe.

Art. 151 — (1) The reports of .the Comptroller and Auditor General of India relating to the Accounts of the Union shall be submitted to the President, who shall cause them to be laid before each House of Parliament.

(2) The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India relating to the Accounts of a State shall be submitted to the Governor or Rajpramukh of the State, who shall cause them to be laid before the Legislature of the State.

Duties And Powers Of The Comptroller And Auditor General

The Comptroller and Auditor General shall be responsible :

(a) for compiling the accounts of the Union and of each State from the initial and subsidiary accounts rendered to the audit and accounts offices under his control by treasuries, offices or departments responsible for the keeping of such accounts; and

(b) for keeping such accounts in relation to any of the matters specified in clause (a) as may be necessary.

Provided that the President as respects the accounts of the Union, and the Governor of a State as respects the accounts of that State, may, after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General, by order, relieve him from the responsibility for compiling the accounts of any particular service or department of the Union or of a State, as the case may be:

Provided further that the President may, after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General, by order relieve him from the responsibility for keeping the accounts of any particular class or character.

Where, under any arrangement, a person other than the Comptroller and Auditor General, has, before the commencement of this Act, been responsible :

(i) for compiling the accounts of any particular service or department of the Union or of a State, or

(ii) for keeping the accounts of any particular class or character.

Such arrangement shall, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), continue to be in force unless, after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General, it is revoked in the case referred to in clause (i), by an order of the President or the Governor of the Slate, as the case may be, and in the case referred to in clause (ii), by an order of the President.

Audit Jurisdiction

The CAG audits the following departments and bodies:

  • Union & State Governments
  • Bodies or Authorities substantially financed by Government
  • Government Companies
  • “Entrusted” Audits
  • Audit of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) –Technical Guidance & Supervision.

Audit Of Union Government

Following are the bodies that can be audited by the CAG for the Union or the central Government:

  • Director General/ Principal Director of Audit.
  • Ministries and Departments.
  • Central Receipts.
  • Defence.
  • Indian Railways.
  • Posts and Telecommunications.
  • Overseas Establishments.
  • Central Government PSUs.

Hierarchy Of The CAG

  • Headquarters Office – CAG; Deputy CAGs; Addl. Deputy CAGs
  • Field Offices – Principal Accountant General/ Accountant General or Director General/ Principal Director.
  • Senior Deputy AG/ Deputy AG or Director/ Deputy Director.
  • Assistant Accountant General.
  • Supervisory Officials –  Sr. Audit/ Audit or Accounts Officers, Asst. Audit or Accounts Officer.

List Of CAGs in India

Name Tenure
V. Narahari Rao 1949 – 1954
A. K. Chanda 1954 – 1960
A. K. Roy 1960 – 1966
S. Ranganathan 1966 – 1972
A. Bakshi 1972 – 1978
Gian Prakash 1978 – 1984
T. N. Chaturvedi 1984 – 1990
C. G. Somiah 1990 – 1996
V. K. Shunglu 1996 – 2002
VN Kaul 2002 – 2008
Vinod Rai 2008 – 2013
Shashi Kant Sharma 2013 – 2017
Rajiv Mehrishi 2017 – Incumbent (6 years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier)

Practice Question

Q 1: Who was the first CAG of India:

A) VN Kaul                     B) Vinod Rai                          C) B. N. Rao                        D) V. Narahari Rao

Ans: D) V. Narahari Rao

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