Auditors report a ‘high’ audit deficit in India
The audit deficit reported by India’s auditor for fiscal years 2017-18 has been much higher than expected, according to a report in the Financial Express.
The report said the government’s audit department reported a total deficit of Rs 9,000 crore as on July 31, which is nearly four times the total deficit recorded for the preceding fiscal year.
According to the report, the deficit was Rs 1,600 crore as of June 30, 2017, while the total surplus of Rs 6,800 crore was as of April 30, 2018.
It further said the auditor had also received an additional Rs 1 crore in audit fees from the government in the previous year.
The ministry of external affairs, in a statement, said that the deficit and surplus have been “adjusted” based on “current accounts, expenditure and revenues” and “other relevant information”.
The report also said the audit department had submitted “a full audit” of the department, which was the first time it had done so in its 34-year history.
It added that the audit report “shows a high level of deficiencies in the audit system and overall quality of the work performed by the department”.
The audit report also noted that there was “a lack of transparency in the performance of the audit and that the system is understaffed and under-resourced”.
According to a finance ministry spokesperson, the ministry has been working with the auditor and its findings have been presented to the ministry for “re-evaluation”.
“We are looking into the report and we will take appropriate steps to correct the situation,” the spokesperson said.