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Subjects /Indian Polity / The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India

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30 Jul 2020

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar called it as Most Important office under the Constitution.

According to Article 148, the President appoints CAG for a normal tenure of 6 years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.

He is the Custodian of ‘Public Purse’ controlling entire financial system of the country – the Union and the States.

Terms of Office of CAG

Under the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s (Conditions of the Service) Act, 1971, some of the terms of office of CAG are:

  • Term of Office: 6 years from the date o which he assumes office.
  • He shall vacate office on attaining the ager of 65 years, of earlier than the expiry of the 6-year term.
  • He may, at any time, resign his office, by writing under his hand, addressed to the President of India.
  • Salary: It is equal to that of a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Pension: On retirement, eligible for annual pension.
  • Conditions of Service: It is determined as per the rules applicable to a member of the I.A.S. holding a rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.

Constitutional Safeguards to the CAG

Since the office of CAG is very important, in order to insulate this office from the influence of the executive, so that the CAG can function independently, honestly and fearlessly, the Constitution of India provides following safeguards –

  1. He can be removed from his office by the President only on a resolution passed by both the houses of the Parliament by special majority on the grounds of proved misbehavior and incapacity.
  2. He cannot be appointed to any office under the Union or the State after his retirement.
  3. His salary and other allowances are ‘charged upon’ the consolidated fund of India and are non-voteable in the Parliament.
  4. His salary and allowances can’t be reduced to his disadvantage after his appointment. The only exception is in case of Financial Emergency.

Duties of CAG

The CAG performs his duties and powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States as prescribed by the Parliament. Some important duties of the CAG are:

  1. To audit and report on all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India and of each State and each Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly, to make sure that such expenditure is in accordance with the law.
  2. To audit and report on all expenditure from the Contingency Fund and Public Accounts of the Union and of the States.
  3. to audit receipts and expenditure of Union and the states and to submit the report to the President or to Governor, as the case may be
  4. to examine whether the money spent by Union or State is within the policy laid by the Parliament.
  5. to oversee whether the money spent is for the same purpose for which it has been sanctioned by the Parliament or the state legislature.
  6. Also, to audit the accounts of Public sector undertaking and those bodies and authorities substantially financed out of the revenue of Union or the states.
  7. The President causes this report to be placed before Parliament.
  8. The Parliament immediately gives this report to ‘Public Accounts Committee’ (PAC) of the Parliament. The PAC, after detailed study of this report prepare another short report on it highlighting major objectives, findings etc. This short report is placed and before the Parliament for discussion and further action.

Meaning of Comptroller

According to the Dictionary meaning of the Comptroller, it is someone who controls and supervises the expenditures.

Does CAG of India functions as Comptroller?

No, the CAG of India does not function as the Comptroller. He has no control over the issue of money from the Consolidated Fund. Under Indian Administration, many departments are authorized to draw money by issuing cheques without specific authority from the CAG.

The role of CAG only comes when the expenditure has already been made i.e. at the stage of audit. Thus, the CAG of India function as the Auditor-General only, to make sure that the government expenditure is in accordance with the law.

Also Read | The Attorney General of India

Related Questions

  • 1) Who is the current CAG of India?

    Ans) Rajiv Mehrishi is the current CAG of India since 25 September 2017.

  • 2) What is the salary of the CAG of India?

    Ans) Rs. 2,50,000 is the salary of the CAG of India. It is equal to the salary of the Judge of the Supreme Court.

Did You Know

  • The CAG under Vinod Rai exposed mega corruption cases like 2G spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games Scam, Coal mine allocation scam and others.