NEW DELHI: The comptroller and auditor general has submitted four reports to the government for tabling in the current winter session of Parliament, two of which were submitted as early as July. These reports, however, do not include the much awaited auditor’s review of the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal.

The four reports pending with the government for tabling include a compliance audit of the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act; a compliance audit on communications and IT; a performance audit on the accelerated irrigation benefits programme and a standalone report on the compliance to statutory requirements in engagement of contract labour by Indian Railways. The latter was submitted to the government on 30th July 2018 and the FRBM report on 31st July.

The federal auditor has also completed its review of the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal, but has not yet submitted it to the government. It may be deferred for the next session of Parliament. Opposition has been demanding disclosure of pricing of the 36 Rafale fighters, a government-to-government deal signed with France in 2016 to acquire the fighters in a fly away condition to boost India’s defence against China and Pakistan.

The federal auditor carries out review of the FRBM Act annually to analyse whether the government has met fiscal discipline and reduced fiscal deficit as mandated under the act and the performances of the government in meeting mid-term and long-term fiscal goals.

In the earlier report on FRBM Act, the auditor had criticised the government for deferring the revenue deficit and fiscal deficit targets as promised in Budget 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The auditor had last year raised alarm over unpaid claims of subsidies in 2016-17 which were as high as Rs 1.03 lakh crore in the previous fiscal, excluding the claims of the fourth quarter which is usually added in the next year’s budget.

The unpaid claims of subsidies are committed liabilities for the future. Not accounting for them in the Union finance account has grave fiscal implications and impacts the future policy decisions. The federal auditor had observed that such huge unpaid bills doesn’t reflect the authenticity of government’s claims on revenue expenditure and fiscal deficit.

The auditor is likely to make a comprehensive report on all recent defence acquisitions rather than a standalone report on Rafale, according to sources. The auditor’s observation on Rafael is likely to be summarised into a chapter in the report.