Tue, 05 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], February 2 (ANI): A 14-member delegation, comprising members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) of the South African Parliament called on Girish Chandra Murmu, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, according to an official release.

The delegation was headed by Mkhuleko Hlengwa, a member of South Africa's National Assembly from the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The delegation arrived in India on a study tour during which it will exchange ideas and experience on the procedures of the Public Accounts Committee and interact with other departments.

Welcoming the delegation, CAG Murmu informed them that the Supreme Audit Institution of India (SAI India) is a 160-year-old constitutional authority responsible for enforcing legislative accountability of government departments.

"It has full financial and operational independence from the Executive and Legislature and prepares and submits audit reports to the Parliament and the State Legislature," he said.

According to the release, the CAG apprised the delegation about SAI India's international recognition, gained by serving as external auditor for the UN and international organisations, including the World Health Organisation, Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

He informed that SAI India is also a leader in the international public audit arena, playing a pivotal role and holding leadership positions in multilateral bodies like INTOSAI and ASOSAI.

The CAG further informed the delegation about how India's legislative control over finances is exercised and how the legislature determines the Budget and oversees its implementation through committees, such as the Estimates Committee, Public Accounts Committee, and Committee on Public Undertakings, the release stated.

The CAG also dwelt at length on the Committee on Public Accounts, its establishment in 1921, being India's oldest parliamentary committee which examines government accounts and revenue receipts, looks into financial irregularities, and makes recommendations to prevent revenue leakage. The committee consists of 22 members, with 15 from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha.

The CAG informed the delegates that SAI India plays a key role in the accountability process by providing the Committee on Public Accounts audit findings and assisting in the examination of government representatives and action taken notes. (ANI)

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