AVOID ACCOUNTING JUGGLERY: Business Standard

This refers to “Govt may resort to tested ways to contain fiscal gap” (BUSINESS STANDARD, November 24/25). Admitting the report itself is speculative, one wonders why GOI should show such high level of diffidence when it comes to the fiscal deficit. The messy handling of nations resources gets reflected in Government Accounts and balance sheets of organizations owned or controlled by GOI.
Last year (during the first Calendar quarter of 2018) GOI persuaded RBI to make an advance payment of a measly sum of Rs10k crore by RBI against surplus income transferrable after closing of RBI’s Accounts in June 2018. Institutions like LIC of India hesitate to introduce professionalism in fund management, as they do not know when a call will come for diverting a specified sum for deployment in one of the GOI-owned organizations.
At some stage, GOI needs to muster the courage to exploit the idle wealth in the country in public interest, look at the cumulative position of assets and liabilities of government and public sector organizations and bring transparency in mainstreaming and accounting of India’s resources. Once this is done, India will be able to announce to the world that though GOI has a higher fiscal deficit figure, the country has enough domestic resources to meet any eventuality.
Once GOI is able to convince the stakeholders that public interest is safe in the hands of the government, people will not speculate about GOI invoking ‘public interest’ clause from statute book to bargain with a statutory a body for favors.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
*Submitted version

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