New Delhi: Rising fiscal deficit and increased pressure on the government’s treasury are the big concerns for the government. In such a scenario, eyebrows are being raised on the way the government is making investment decisions. The government is making investments in PSUs every year but not keeping transparency in its accounts. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found discrepancies in investment in 16 PSUs which the government has failed to answer. 

During audit of the accounts of the central government, CAG has found that despite withdrawing completely from few companies, the government has failed to produce the descriptions of investments and receivables. In its report which was tabled in the Parliament recently, CAG has found that the government has invested crores of rupees in PSUs, but the account of the investment has not been maintained properly.

At the end of FY 2007-08, the government had invested Rs 34.56 crore in Kolkata based Jessop & Company Ltd. Then the government sold its entire equity stake the next year. But the government had made an mentioned only Rs 15.54 crore in the account for the financial year 2010-11. The government neither gave details of disinvestment nor description of the rest Rs 19.02 crore.

Exposing the irregularities in the government’s account, CAG has also focused on the investments in nationalised banks in this report. Till the end of 2009-10, the government had made an investment of Rs 16,172.97 crore in the banks but it has shown an investment of Rs 14906.97 crore in its accounts. The CAG report says that no description was given for the rest of Rs 1,266 crore.

Discrepancies in the government’s accounts regarding its investment in PSUs have also been seen in State Trading Corporation of India (STC). In 2010-11, the government had bought 5897800 shares worth Rs 10 each in STC. During this period, additional 512933400 shares were added as bonus which means that the company has invested Rs 5.9 crore through equity and Rs 512.93 crore through bonus shares. But it is surprising that the government has not mentioned this in the financial accounts of 2010-11.