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21th Nov. 2019 Answer writing
(General Studies II)
Q. Critically analyze the role of Public Account Committee (PAC) in India. (150 words)
The PAC is a parliamentary committee which scrutinizes the report of CAG. The function of PAC is to check whether the utilization of funds is done as per the appropriation and the financial prudence of the funds. It carries out post – expenditure audit on the basis of CAG report.
Role played by PAC:
It examines the three audit reports of CAGsubmitted to president: appropriation accounts, finance accounts and public undertakings.
It examines the appropriation accounts and the finance accountsof the Union government and any other accounts laid before the Lok Sabha.
It examines the accounts of the public service corporationsand other such bodies whose accounts are audited by CAG.
It holds the government accountable for the expenditure incurred.
It only depends on the report of CAG
It verifies the money after its use
It has not been proactive as CAG
Lack of adequate funds and Lack of strength to carry out all investigation
Lack of technical expertiseand reports may be lengthy, complex and difficult to understand.
Government is often not responsive to PAC
PAC can be consulted on the appointment of the CAG
It should have powers to examine Public-Private Partnership projects
Services of expertsshould be availed on technical matters
can be made accountable to PAC
However, since the committed is headed by a member of opposition, safeguards should be made to ensure that it is not stalling the work of govt. deliberately.
Thus, it has the power to scrutinize and check on slackness, negligence and wrongdoing on the part of the Executive. Holding the Executive to account for its use of public money is one its key roles thus, it is called the “mother of all Parliamentary Committees”.