A Step Towards Ensuring Greater Fiscal Transparency

1. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) constituted Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board (GASAB) with the support of Government of India through a notification dated 12th August, 2002. The Board has high level representation from the important accounting heads in Government, Ministry of Finance, Department of Post, Railways, Defence, Finance Secretaries of states, RBI, ICAI etc. (http://gasab.gov.in/gasab/about.aspx).

2. Responsibilities of the Board:
    i. To establish and improve standards of governmental accounting and financial reporting in order to enhance accountability mechanisms;
    ii. To formulate and propose standards that improve the usefulness of financial reports based on the needs of the financial report users;
    iii. To keep the standards current and reflect changes in the governmental environment;
    iv. To provide guidance on implementation of standards;
    v. To consider significant areas of accounting and financial reporting that can be improved through the standard setting process; and
    vi. To improve the common understanding of the nature and purpose of information contained in financial reports. (http://gasab.gov.in/gasab/about.aspx)

3. Government operations impact all individuals/the public either through the payments of taxes or through the implementation of various welfare schemes/public health programmes and development of infrastructure. Thus, the public at large, academicians, entrepreneurs, accountants and auditors are stakeholders in ensuring that the government accounts present a true and fair view of government operations, the costs incurred thereon and the revenues collected both taxes and non-tax revenues earned by the government.

4. In view of this GASAB invites suggestions/views to develop new standards/modifying existing standards/simplifications of accounting systems to enhance Fiscal Transparency. In this regard, a new tab ‘New Ideas for GASAB’ is meant to flag the concepts/areas (in the given format) which require better/detailed disclosure for inclusion in the accounts through formulation of a Standard.

5. The stakeholders could send their concepts/areas to the e-mail address gasab-newideas[at]cag[dot]gov[dot]in strictly in the following prescribed manner:

     I. Concepts/Areas which require better accounting/disclosure
       i. Background behind the suggested concept/area
       ii. Relevance/benefits/objectives of the enhanced accounting/disclosure and the related organizations
       iii. Probable sources for obtaining information on the concept/area

     II. Name of the suggestion maker/proposer
        i. Organisation and designation,
       ii. Valid Email ID and Contact Numbers