India’s official audit institution celebrates 150 years

New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) The institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) celebrates 150 years of service Tuesday, led by President Pratibha Patil who will release a commemorative stamp at the Vigyan Bhavan official convention centre here.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohan Joshi, as also the present chief of the institution Vinod Rai, are among those who will participate in the ceremony, officials said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has a long history that dates back to 1860, but up to the 1980s the only source of its recorded history is a publication by the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

With a mandate from parliament and the constitution, the institution conducts official audits under various heads and levels – receipt and use of finances by the federal and state governments, state-run enterprises, as also local bodies.

Accordingly, the institutions covered include the Indian Railways, some 1,500 state-run units, around 400 non-commercial autonomous bodies and authorities and more than 4,400 authorities and bodies substantially financed by federal or state revenues.

Appointed by the president under the constitutional provision of Article 148, the Comptroller and Auditor General also heads the Indian Audits and Accounts Service, which has some 58,000 employees across the country.

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