The accounting setup is highly decentralised in the civil Ministries. A Chief Controller of Accounts or a Controller of Accounts heads civil Accounts Units at the Ministry level and report to CGA. The CCAs/Cas function through a Principal Accounts Office at the Ministry headquarters and several Pay and Accounts Officers at the field level spread all over the Country.
The PAOs have the authority to release payments on behalf of the Government and to collect revenues of the government.
The following duties and functions are performed by CGA
RECEIPTS & PAYMENTS As collections agent of the government of India, the CGA through CCAs and their PAOs is responsible for proper accounting of collections of revenue and ensuring that the amounts are quickly credited to the government account.
One of the main functions performed by the Civil Accounts Units under the CGA is budgetary control over the expenditure. The control is exercised through the Pay and Accounts Offices who have the authority to release payments of all claims arising out of Governments operations. In certain cases where it is not possible to open a Pay and Accounts Office, departmental authorities at appropriate level are authorized to incur expenditure subject to the limits prescribed in the letter of assignments issued from time to time by the concerned Pay and Accounts Office.
ACCOUNTING Controller General of Accounts is the apex accounting body in the Government of India. The accounts of the Civil Ministries are compiled and maintained by the Pay and Accounts Offices, the basic accounting units.
The Pay and Accounts Offices maintain line item wise accounts of all the transactions involving Consolidated Fund of India, Contingency Fund of India and Public Account of India. Various subsidiary accounts such as Loan accounts, Fund accounts etc. are also maintained by these units.
The accounts compiled by the Pay and Accounts Offices are consolidated on a monthly basis in the Principal Accounts Offices at the Ministry's headquarters. The consolidated accounts of the Ministry are rendered to the Controller General of Accounts. The accounts received from various Ministries are consolidated in the office of the Controller General of Accounts to generate the accounts of the Government of India as a whole.
These monthly accounts are reviewed and a critical analysis of expenditure, revenue collection, borrowings and deficit is prepared for Finance Minister.Summary of monthly accounts The annual accounts of the Government, comprising the Union Government Finance Accounts and the Appropriation Accounts, are also prepared by the Controller General of Accounts. These documents are presented before the Parliament after their statutory audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Preparation and submission of Appropriation Accounts to the parliament completes the cycle of budgetary process. Through Appropriation Accounts parliament is informed about the expenditure incurred against the appropriations made by the parliament in the previous financial year. All the expenditures are duly audited and excesses or savings in the expenditure are explained. The Finance Accounts show the details of receipts and expenditure for all the three funds in the form of various statements including liabilities of the government such as guarantees etc. and loans given to states, union territories and public sector under takings.
Under the parliamentary system of democracy followed in this country, there is complete control of legislature over the finances of the government. The constitution has divided the moneys of the Government of India into three parts, namely:
* Consolidated Fund
All revenues collected, loans raised and their repayment go into this fund. All the expenditure of the Government is also met from this fund. Money can be spent through this fund only if it is appropriated by Parliament.
* Public Account
All other moneys received by or on behalf of Government are credited to Public Account
* Contingency Fund
The unforeseen expenditure which cannot wait approval of Parliament is met from this fund. The government can incur expenditure from this fund and seek the approval of Parliament later.
Based on the above scheme of division of government purse, the accounts are kept separately for each part(fund).
There are certain kinds of expenditure which are exempted from vote in the Parliament, there are termed as "Charged" which include salary of President, Judges, Comptroller and Auditor General etc. All the other expenditures are put to vote and are called "Voted". Sovereign debt and releases to state governments are also "charged" on the Consolidated Fund of India.
Apart from the above broad division, in order to serve information needs, the accounts are maintained on the basis of functional classification after dividing them into revenue and capital. There is a six tier classification of transactions which is being followed in government of India at present, as laid down in the list of Major and Minor Heads.
The expenditure of the Government is further divided into Plan and Non-Plan. Plan expenditure is directly related to expenditure on schemes and programmes as envisaged in the five year plans and the Non-Plan expenditure is incurred on administrative and maintenance activities.
The accounts are compiled every month by the PAOs broadly as per the classification mentioned above. Since the whole payment and accounting setup is highly decentralised, the information needs of various levels of organisations which the PAOs are serving are met directly from the accounting reports produced by these PAOs. AT the level of Government of India as a whole, monthly accounts are compiled by the CGA and are presented to Ministry of Finance and this serves as an important aid in planning of expenditure and deficit control.
After formal presentation of the Appropriation Accounts and Finance Accounts to the Parliament, 'Accounts at a Glance' are brought out which contain summary of these accounts presented in an easily understandable format.
Reserve Bank of India is the main banker of the Government of India and other Public Sector Banks function as agents of RBI. The collection of revenue and expenditure is routed through the RBI and public sector banks. The collections and payments are made by the banks first and the net amount is settled with the RBI later.
The banking system for Government transactions is explained in the diagram above. Dealing Branches report transactions to the Focal Point Branch(FPB) in the form of Payment and Receipt Scrolls on a daily basis. The FPB consolidates the scrolls received from all the dealing branches and prepares a Daily Main Scroll and sends it to the PAO concerned. The figures after verification by the PAO are reported by FPB to the link cell of the Bank at Nagpur (or GAD in the case of SBI). The link cells settles the transactions reported by various FPBs with the RBI, Nagpur. At the end of the month, the FPB prepares and sends a Datewise Monthly Statement(DMS) indicating the total amount paid or collected on behalf of the PAO on each day of the month. The DMS is verified by the PAO and a copy of the verified DMS(VDMS) is sent by the PAO to the PrAO. The PAO, on the basis of the VDMS, also makes an entry in his accounts. The RBI, on the other hand, sends to PrAO a similar statement(Put through Statement) indicating the datewise detail of receipts & payments settled by it with the FPB. The Put through statement is reconciled, at the PAO, at present, with the VDMS to find out the unsettled transactions and Excess/double settlements. The put through statement is also reconciled with the amount booked by the PAO in his accounts to check the correctness of accounts. The PrAO also makes an accounting entry on the basis of the amounts indicated in the Put through Statement. Further, RBI sends a monthly Ministry/Department wise consolidated figure for the amount settled with various banks.
For the purpose of bank reconciliation, the PrAO maintains a PSB Suspense Broad Sheet. This indicates the opening balance, amount booked during the month, amount cleared during the month and the closing balance. The broadsheet is maintained PAO wise and the debit & credit entries are recorded separately. The outstanding amount is watched for clearance in the subsequent months. In the present system the detailed reconciliation is carried out by the PAO. It has, however, been proposed to do it at the PrAO, in the new software package being developed by the office of the CGA.
The Pr.A.O also maintains a Reserve Bank Deposit Register wherein the progressive totals of receipts and payments for the controller are recorded every month. These figures are compared with the figures available at the Pr.A.O and no accounting entry is made at the Pr.A.O level.
In case of Central Board of Excise & Customs(CBEC) and Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), separate accounts are maintained for banks for handling receipt transactions. The statements similar to those mentioned above but with Major Head wise details, relating to receipt account, are sent by banks for facilitating receipt reconciliation.
INTERNAL AUDIT Internal Audit has been recognized as an aid to the higher management for monitoring the financial performance and effectiveness of various programs, schemes and activities. Internal audit is conducted through the Internal Audit Wings in the Principal Accounts Offices of various Ministries/Departments.
PENSION The central (Civil) pensions are authorized and disbursed through Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) functioning under the Controller General of Accounts. The payment of pension is made through Public Sector Banks. The CPAO maintains a databank of pensioners. The working of CPAO is fully computerized.
The CPAO was created with the primary objective to simplify the procedure and reduce the number of agencies for pension payment and to speed up the process of authorization, revision and transfer of pension through Public Sector Banks. Though there is scope for further expediting the whole process, the initial objectives have been broadly achieved. As a result, over 5 lakhs pensioners are provided pension related services by the CPAO through more than 32,500 paying bank branches all over the country.
TECHNICAL ADVICE Ministries, Departments approach the Controller General of Accounts for advice on accounting procedures for new schemes, programmes or activities undertaken by them. The advice rendered by the CGA generally covers aspects related to maintenance of accounts, collection of receipts and it's crediting into Government account, release of payment and it's accounting, creation and operation of funds within Government accounts, banking arrangements for making payments and collecting receipts etc. The advice of the Controller General of Accounts is binding on the Ministries/Departments.
CAPITAL RESTRUCTURING The Controller General of Accounts is responsible for evaluating and processing the proposals relating to the capital restructuring of various public sector undertakings (PSUs) of the Union Government and its submission to the Ministry of Finance for obtaining approval of Government of India. Generally the proposals involve appraisal of the strategy proposed for reviewing the unit. Each proposal is evaluated on the basis of company specific options available. In evaluating these proposals a clear distinction is made between the Government's role as a regulator and it's commercial interests as owner of an industry participant.
The appraisal of these proposals is a comprehensive one involving the following:
* Detailed analysis of the financials of the PSU, especially it's operating costs.
* Audit of the financial model prepared by the PSU
* Preparation of a detailed financial model containing projections and sensitivities.
* Bench marking the performance of the company vis-a-vis its peers from the private sector and public sector.
* Appraisal of the Rehabilitation scheme prepared by the Operating Agency appointed by the Board of Industrial and Financial Restructuring.
* Analysis of the stock returns - PE ratios, PB ratios and PCF ratios for the PSUs vis-a-vis private sector competitors, where the proposal is for conversion of equity into debit in order to improve returns to private stockholders.
The cadre management of Group 'A' officers of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) vests with the Controller General of Accounts. It covers the entire gamut of personnel management of ICAS officers including their recruitment, transfers, promotions, training, both within the country as well as abroad, and periodical reviews of cadre strength and distribution.
The respective Chief Controller/ Controller of Accounts controls the Group 'C' & 'D' staff of various Civil Accounts Units. However, a combined seniority list of all the employees within these grades is maintained by the Controller General of Accounts for effecting promotions.
The Controller General of Accounts conducts various examinations for the purpose of promotion and assessment of suitability of an employee for retention in posts. The examinations conducted are:
* Junior Accounts Officer (Civil) examination for assessing suitability for promotion as Junior Accounts Officer (JAO)
* Junior Accounts Officer (common) examination for the staff of Delhi Administration, Cabinet Secretariat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
* Departmental Confirmatory examination for Accountants to adjudge suitability for retention in the post.
* Limited competitive examination for promotion of Lower Division Clerks as Accountants.
* Limited competitive examination for promotion of Group D (Matriculate) as Lower Division Clerks.
* Departmental Qualifying examination for promotion of Group 'D' (Non matriculate) as Lower Division Clerks.
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