Rs 73,468 crore education cess expense unclear

If you have been one of those paying the Secondary and Higher Education Cess (SHEC), then here’s some bad news for you.

Published: 17th December 2016 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2016 04:07 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: If you have been one of those paying the Secondary and Higher Education Cess (SHEC), then here’s some bad news for you. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India stated on Friday that it was not “transparently ascertainable” if the funds were utilised towards the reason for the levy, or even utilised at all.

The CAG stated in a report released on Friday that while Rs 73,468.52 crore was collected between 2006 - 2016, it was not clear if the funds were used. “It is observed that unlike the creation of Prarambhik Siksha Kosh in the case of primary/elementary education cess, neither a Fund was designated to deposit the proceeds of SHEC thereto nor schemes were identified on which the cess proceeds were to be spent. Consequently, the commitment of furthering Secondary and Higher Education Cess as envisaged in the

Finance Act was not transparently ascertainable,” observed the CAG. Another severely underutilised fund is the Research and Development Cess, which aggregated to Rs 6,698.30 crore, collected during 1996-97 to 2015-16. “Out of this only Rs  579.16 crore (8.65 per cent) was utilised towards the objectives of levying the said cess,” the CAG pointed out. Both cesses and their use have been repeatedly red flagged by the CAG, also featuring in the report tabled in December 2015 for underutilisation.

The CAG noted several other inconsistencies, pulling up the Central Board of Direct Taxes for an expenditure on interest on refunds amounting to Rs 7,704 crore without the prior approval of the Parliament.  The Constitution of India provides that no money should be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law. The CAG also highlighted the lack of transparency in the system.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp