CAG pulls up Sebi, Irda, 3 others for retaining surplus funds

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report has pulled up Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Insurance regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for "contravention of constitutional provision".

"Scrutiny of the annual accounts of the five regulatory bodies revealed that these bodies were retaining their surplus funds generated through fee charges, unspent grants received from government, aggregating to Rs 2,142.47 crore at the end of March, 2010 outside the Government Accounts," CAG said.

The practice by the regulators are in contravention of the instructions issued by the Finance Ministry that all ministries and departments of the government would ensure that funds of regulatory bodies are maintained in the Public Account, the CAG said.

"The Finance Accounts of the Union Government therefore do not present a current and complete picture of government finances to the extent of funds of Rs 2,142.47 crore lying outside the government accounts," it added.

Further, the CAG report noted that the Finance Ministry in December, 2009 and November, 2010 had said the broad guidelines relating to operationalising Sebi and Irda funds in the Public Accounts have been framed and conveyed to the Controller General of Accounts for drawing up the detail accounting procedure.

"However, no funds in this regard were opened in the Public Accounts of the Finance Accounts for the year 2009-10," the report added. The CAG Audit report for the year ended March, 2008 and March, 2009 had also highlighted retention of funds by Irda and Sebi outside the government accounts.

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