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Assam 2020-21 budget unrealistic, overestimated: CAG

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GUWAHATI, Sept 21: CAG has said budgetary assumptions of the Assam Government remained “unrealistic and overestimated” in 2020-21 and recommended the Government to formulate “realistic assumptions” to avoid inflated budget without actual resources.
The State Finances Audit Report for the year ended March 31, 2021 by CAG, which was tabled in the state Assembly on Monday said budgetary assumptions of the Assam Government was unrealistic and overestimated during 2020-21 as it incurred an expenditure of Rs 82,888.63 crore, against 81 grants and appropriations of Rs 1,22,341.66 crore.
It resulted in overall savings of Rs 39,453.03 crore during the year as against the savings of Rs 35,552.08 crore during the previous year.
These savings stood at 32 per cent of total grants and appropriations made for the year and was 2.1 times the size of the supplementary budget during the year, the CAG report said.
“These savings may be seen in context to over estimation of receipts of Rs 1,07,314.47 crore by the state Government and the estimation on the expenditure side being Rs 1,22,341.66 crore during the year 2020-21,” it said.
The actual receipts were Rs 82,844.93 crore only which restricted the total expenditure during the year to Rs 82,888.63 crore, it said.
“This implied that the savings were notional as the funds were not actually available for expenditure,” the report said.
It also said savings during the year accounted for about a third of the budget, but the controlling officers neither surrendered the funds nor provided any explanations for variations in expenditure vis-à-vis allocations.
The CAG report said that approval of supplementary grants of Rs 18,580.03 crore was indicative of “over-estimation and poor financial management” as the gross expenditure was less than even the original provision.
It also found that a number of departments incurred excess expenditure over and above the authorisation for 2020-21, while excess expenditure was also incurred in a few subheads without budget provision.
CAG in its recommendation asked the state Government to formulate a “realistic” budget based on reliable assumptions of likely resource mobilisation, the needs of the departments and their capacity to utilise the allocated resources so as to avoid an inflated budget without actual resources.
It also recommended instituting appropriate control mechanisms to enforce proper implementation and monitoring of budget so that large savings are controlled and anticipated savings are identified and surrendered within the specified timeframe.
CAG also said the finance department may “critically review” departments having persistent savings and controlling officers should be made to explain variation in expenditure from the allocation. (PTI)

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