Inadequate Parliamentary Control Over Public Revenue

Legislative Silence or Failure of CAG?




The purpose of this paper is to study the level of parliamentary control over public finance in India for ensuring accountability and transparency expected in a democratic form of governance. As per the Constitution of India, neither any money shall be collected nor the collected money be spent without the approval of the Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be. The accountability and transparency expected in spending should equally apply to revenue collection also, as they are the two sides of public finance. While the parliamentary control over public spending is complete with the system of parliamentary approval for spending and monitoring of the spending against its approval, through Appropriation Accounts, such control is not complete in respect of public revenue, as there is no parliamentary procedure to monitor the realisation of all revenues authorised by it. Consequently, crores of rupees of public revenue authorised by Parliament/Legislature could remain uncollected without its knowledge. Introduction of a Receipts Accounts showing the details of unrealised revenues with reasons and its presentation to Parliament/Legislature would fill the gap in parliamentary control and transparency in realisation of public revenue.


Parliamentary Control, Public Finance Management, Unrealised Public Revenue, Appropriation Accounts, Receipt Accounts, Accountability

Author Bio

Selvaraju T

T Selvaraju is a retired Senior Deputy Accountant General from IA&AS