The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma has said that they are planning to audit the impact of note ban and the effect it has had on the government’s tax revenues. He said that the auditor is preparing to audit tax revenues under the new Goods and service tax (GST) regime and has started reconstruction of capacity building and reorienting its audit methodology and procedures.
Under the special audit, the CAG has already completed the audit of agricultural crop scheme and flood control and flood estimates. Now it is conducting audit of Right to Education, National Rural Health Mission, Defence Pensions and Ganga Rejuvenation. Sharma added that their audit reports will be ready by the end of the current year.
Sharma asserted that the CAG has the right to audit the bodies or authorities having any kind of relationship with the revenue and expenditure of the government, and expenditure and resistance by some like city development bodies, DISCOMs and metro corporations will wither away. He said that they plan to audit some issues related to the financial impact of filing, especially its impact on tax revenues. The government had withdrawn old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation on November 8 last year, and announced a new tax amnesty scheme for those holding unaccounted junked currency. Thus, CAG audit may look into expenditure on printing of notes, the Reserve Bank of India dividend payout and banking transaction data.
Apart from this, the CAG has also conveyed the government its stand on the recent move of the GST Council to delete section 65 of the preliminary draft that authorized CAG to audit GST. Sharma has said that their mandate covers GST just like the earlier taxation regimes were covered. They have already started work on restructuring of their revenue audit arrangements to meet this likely challenge when GST is introduced. This exercise would include issues of capacity building, data access and analysis, reorientation of audit methodology and procedures and developing end-to-end IT solutions.