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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 01.03.2016

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee attended the 40 thAnniversary Celebrations of Indian Civil Accounts Service today (March 1, 2016) in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was pleased at the significant reforms and initiatives that have been ushered in since the departmentalization of accounts and creation of the Indian Civil Accounts Service. He extended his felicitations to the Controller General of Accounts and the officers and staff of the Indian Civil Accounts Service for effectively and efficiently discharging their responsibilities in the service of the nation. He said that he was happy to note that during the last forty years the office of the Controller General of Accounts has made substantive investments in automation and training of human resource in Information Technology. Consequently, there have been overall improvements in both the payment and accounting functions of the Union Government, in addition to providing decision makers with high quality, timely reports and analysis of the monthly and annual status of expenditures and revenues.

The President said that Government places the highest importance towards the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode of payments as the preferred mode for reaching out to financially disadvantaged and excluded segments of our population. This mode of direct transfer of funds to beneficiary bank accounts ensures transparency, eliminates delays and brings about a perceptible drop in corruption levels. He expressed confidence that Government would on- board more welfare schemes on the PFMS portal in future. He stated that we must continue to harness and leverage our e-governance capabilities for improving the lives of the poor and needy, and to transform India into a more equitable and financially inclusive society.

Addressing the officers of the Civil Accounts Service, the President said that the foremost challenge for their organisation was timely and credible financial reporting of public finances, which was the backbone of an efficient and sound financial management system. The other pressing need was to strengthen oversight mechanisms in the implementation of projects and schemes by line Ministries. The internal audit function today remains largely confined to compliance audit. This needs to change- internal audit has to aid management in the effective implementation of programs and help reduce cost and time overruns. Moreover, the focus has to change from compliance to risk management, mitigation and control. He said that the Controller General of Accounts had taken several steps towards this end. This process needs to continue.

Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister released a book on the history of Civil Accounts Organization and presented its first copy to the President on the occasion.

Among the other dignitaries present were Shri Shashi Kant Sharma, Comptroller & Auditor General of India; Shri Ratan P Watal, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Shri MJ Joseph, Controller General of Accounts.

This release issued at 1350 hrs.