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Q) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has found that the govt. has not transferred some cesses to their respective Reserve Funds. It made it difficult to ensure that the cesses etc., had been utilised for the specific purposes intended by the Parliament. Comment. (150 words)

Why this question?

  • CG has tabled a report on the accounts of the government for 2018-’19,in both Houses of Parliament.

Introduction: The goods and services tax (GST) has subsumed many cesses, but the government has imposed fresh cesses such as Swachh Bharat cess and Krishi Kalyan cess to finance Swachh Bharat initiatives and to promote agriculture, respectively.

Body:

  • Constitutional provisions for cess: Article 270
  • Concerns with cesses: Fiscal federalism, Cesses not being used for their earmarked purpose

Way forward: Sarkaria Commission had recommended that cesses “should be for limited duration and for specific purposes only”.

Conclusion: Summarize the above points.