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Bill Gives Free Hand To CAG To Audit GST Operation

CAG to Audit GST Bills

NEW DELHI: After a series of communication with the Union finance ministry, it has been decided to drop the particular reference on the role of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill that had restricted the audit parameters of the government’s official auditor.

A top CAG source said the auditor is free to audit the entire GST operation with revenue implication to the government and pick up accounts of any entity for audit purpose as it deems fit. “In the draft Bill the role was restricted, which has been dropped in the final Bill after the auditor raised objections with the finance ministry,” he said.

The audit of the GST regime will be like any other audit of government department, state or central, and no party can claim exemption.

The Bill tabled in Parliament on Monday states that the accounts relating to GST fund “shall be audited by the CAG at such intervals as may be specified by him”. The accounts of the GST fund will be certified by the CAG and its audit report thereon shall be laid before each House of Parliament, according to the Bill.

The Bill provides that the financial year 2015-16 shall be taken as the base year for the purpose of calculating compensation amount payable to states. The compensation shall be released bi-monthly against the figures given by the central accounting authorities provisionally and final adjustment shall be done after getting audited accounts of the year from the CAG.

The audit would look into the accounts relating to assessment of input tax credit, nonlevy , short-levy, interest, appeals, offences and penalties in relation to the levy and collection of the cess leviable on the intra-state supply of goods and services. The CAG official said that the auditor’s role has been well defined and has the constitutional backing where the government revenue is concerned.