9000 Audit Paras replied by J&K Govt, another 14000 to be taken up shortly

Matter to be closed before Winter Session of Parliament
Directions issued for uploading legacy data on PFMS

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Aug 27: A total of 9000 Audit Paras of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India have been replied to/addressed by the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and another 14000 will be taken up shortly as matter is required to be closed before the Winter Session of the Parliament when the concerned committee will table a report in this regard.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that few days back Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta held deliberations on the settlement of pending Audit Paras with senior officers of different departments particularly Principal Secretary Finance and accordingly he reiterated the earlier direction to all the Administrative Secretaries to focus on reconciliation of pending Audit Paras.
In the meeting, Principal Secretary Finance Department apprised the Chief Secretary that 9000 Audit Paras have been replied to/addressed and another 14000 Audit Paras will be taken up during the scheduled 3rd and 4th phase.
“Emphasizing the importance of the issue, the Chief Secretary observed that before the Winter Session of the Parliament the matter will have to be placed before the concerned Parliamentary Committee for closure”, sources informed.
The Chief Secretary has already fixed October 31, 2023 deadline for the clearance of Audit Paras pertaining to the Financial Years 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2022-23 contained in the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
It is pertinent to mention here that the broad objectives of audit are to ensure legality, regularity, efficiency and effectiveness of financial management and public administration mainly through assessment as to whether the financial statements are properly prepared, are complete in all respects and are presented with adequate disclosures (financial audit); whether the provisions of the Constitution, the applicable laws, rules and regulations made there-under and various orders and instructions issued by competent authority are being complied with (compliance audit) and the extent to which an activity, programme or organization operates economically, efficiently and effectively (performance audit).
“As per the Regulations of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India each department is supposed to have audit committee for settlement of pending Audit Paragraphs and from time to time the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir issued directions through the General Administration Department to all the departments for ensuring timely settlement of Audit Paragraphs”, sources said.
“The audit committees are required to hold meetings on number and gist of audit observations/paragraphs included in the audit report(s) of the CAG of the previous year; number of gist of major irregularities intimated by the Accountant General (Audit) during the previous year, action taken report by the department on these aspects and number of audit observations communicated in draft audit reports/inspection reports issued during the previous year and gist of observations with substantial money value and those with serious internal control lapses”, sources informed.
As per CAG Regulation 197, the officer in charge of the auditable entity is required to send the reply to an audit note or inspection report within four weeks of its receipt. Even if it is not feasible to furnish the final replies to some of the observations in the audit note or inspection report within this time limit, the first reply shall not be delayed on that account and an interim reply may be given indicating the likely date by which the final reply shall be furnished.
Thereafter, Accountant General (Audit) shall give full consideration to the reply of the Government and the draft paragraph may be modified or settled or may not be included in the audit report in the light of the reply.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Finance Department has brought to the notice of all the Administrative Secretaries that the Department of Expenditure, Government of India has required that the Legacy Data of 2020-21 and 2021-22 should be uploaded for each Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Public Financial Management System (PFMS) Portal and the interest on the CSS funds should be deposited to Consolidated Fund of India as per the sharing portal.
Further, in this connection the Nodal Departments have been requested to expedite the action on the mapping of Centrally Sponsored Schemes on PFMS portal; uploading of Legacy Data on PFMS after scrutiny by the Finance Department; remission of interest to CFI; submission of joint undertakings and submission of request letter to Ministry concerned for Centrally Sponsored Scheme installment.