Annual Financial Statement (AFS)
The Annual Financial Statement (AFS), the document as provided under Article 112, shows the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for 2018-19 in relation to estimates for 2017-18 as also actual expenditure for the year 2016-17. The receipts and disbursements are shown under three parts in which Government Accounts are kept viz.,(i) The Consolidated Fund of India, (ii) The Contingency Fund of India and (iii) The Public Account of India. The Annual Financial Statement distinguishes the expenditure on
revenue account from the expenditure on other accounts, as is mandated in the Constitution of India. The Revenue and the Capital sections together, therefore make the Union Budget. The estimates of receipts and expenditure included in the Annual Financial Statement are for expenditure net of refunds and recoveries. The Union Government Finance Accounts also reflect expenditure in a similar manner.
The significance of the Consolidated Fund, the Contingency Fund and the Public Account as well as the
distinguishing features of the Revenue and the Capital portions are given below briefly:
(i) The Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) draws its existence from Article 266 of the Constitution. All revenues received by the Government, loans raised by it, and also receipts from recoveries of loans granted by it, together form the Consolidated Fund of India. All expenditure of the Government is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India and no amount can be drawn from the Consolidated
Fund without due authorization from the Parliament.
(ii) Article 267 of the Constitution authorises the existence of a Contingency Fund of India which is an imprest placed at the disposal of the President of India to facilitate meeting of urgent unforeseen expenditure by the Government pending authorization from the Parliament. Parliamentary approval for such unforeseen expenditure is obtained, ex- post-facto, and an equivalent amount is drawn from the Consolidated Fund to recoup the Contingency Fund after such ex-post-facto approval. The corpus of the Contingency Fund as authorized by Parliament presently stands at `500 crore.
(iii) Moneys held by Government in trust are kept in the Public Account. Provident Funds, Small Savings collections, income of Government set apart for expenditure on specific objects such as road development, primary education, other Reserve/Special Funds etc., are examples of moneys kept in the Public Account. Public Account funds that do not belong to the Government and have to be finally
paid back to the persons and authorities who deposited them, do not require Parliamentary authorisation for withdrawals. The approval of the parliament is obtained when amounts are withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund and kept in the Public Account for expenditure on specific objects. The actual expenditure on the specific object is again submitted for vote of the Parliament for withdrawal from
the Public Account for incurring expenditure on the specific objects.
(iv) The Revenue Budget consists of the revenue receipts of the Government (Tax revenues and other Non Tax revenues) and the expenditure met from these revenues. Tax revenues comprise proceeds of taxes and other duties levied by the Union. The estimates of revenue receipts shown in the Annual Financial Statement take into account the effect of various taxation proposals made in the Finance
Bill. Other non-tax receipts of the Government mainly consist of interest and dividend on investments made by the Government, fees and other receipts for services rendered by the Government. Revenue expenditure is for the normal running of Government departments and for rendering of various services, making interest payments on debt, meeting subsidies, grants in aid, etc. Broadly, the expenditure which does not result in creation of assets for the Government of India, is treated as revenue expenditure. All grants given to the State Governments/Union Territories and other parties are also treated as revenue expenditure even though some of the grants may be
used for creation of capital assets. Revenue expenditure which results in the creation of capital assets is reduced from revenue deficit to arrive at the Effective Revenue Deficit (ERD).
Effective Revenue Deficit (ERD) = Revenue Deficit – Grants for Creation of Capital Assets (v) Capital receipts and capital payments together constitute the Capital Budget. The capital receipts are loans raised by the Government from the public (these are termed as market loans), borrowings by the Government from the Reserve Bank of India and other parties through the sale of Treasury Bills, the loans received from foreign Governments and bodies, disinvestment receipts and recoveries of loans from State and Union Territory Governments and other parties. Capital payments consist of capital expenditure on acquisition of assets like land, buildings, machinery, equipment, as also investments in shares, etc., and loans and advances granted by the Central Government to the State and the Union Territory Governments, Government companies, Corporations and other parties.
(vi) Accounting Classification
The estimates of receipts and disbursements in the Annual Financial Statement and of expenditure in the Demands for Grants are shown according to the accounting classification referred to under Article 150 of the Constitution.
The Annual Financial Statement shows, certain disbursements distinctly, which are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. The Constitution of India mandates that such items of expenditure such as emoluments of the President, salaries and allowances of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, salaries,
allowances and pensions of the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Central Vigilance Commission, interest on and repayment of loans raised by the Government and payments made to satisfy decrees of courts etc., may be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and are not required to be voted by the Lok Sabha.
Demands for Grants
(i) Article 113 of the Constitution mandates that the estimates of expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India included in the Annual Financial Statement and required to be voted by the Lok Sabha, be submitted in the form of Demands for Grants. The Demands for Grants are presented to the Lok Sabha along with the Annual Financial Statement. Generally, one Demand for Grant is presented in respect of each Ministry or Department. However, more than one Demand may be presented for a Ministry or Department depending on the nature of expenditure. With regard to Union Territories without Legislature, a separate Demand is presented for each of such Union Territories. In budget 2018-19 there are 99 Demands for Grants. Each Demand initially gives separately the totals of (i)’voted’ and ‘charged’ expenditure; (ii) the ‘revenue’ and the ‘capital’ expenditure and (iii) the grand total on gross basis of the amount of expenditure for which the Demand is presented. This is followed by the estimates of expenditure under different major heads of account. The amounts of recoveries are also
shown. The net amount of expenditure after reducing the recoveries from the gross amount is also shown. A summary of Demands for Grants is given at the beginning of this document, while details of ‘New Service’ or ‘New Instrument of Service’ such as, formation of a new company, undertaking or a new scheme, etc., if any, are indicated at the end of the document. (ii) Each Demand normally includes the total provisions required for a service, that is, provisions on account of revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, grants to State and Union Territory Governments and also loans and advances relating to the service. Where the provision for a service is entirely for expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, for example, interest payments (Demand for Grant No. 37), a separate Appropriation, as distinct from a Demand, is presented for that expenditure and it is not required to be voted by the Lok Sabha. Where, however, expenditure on a service includes both ‘voted’ and ‘charged’ items of expenditure, the latter are also included in the Demand
presented for that service but the ‘voted’ and ‘charged’ provisions are shown separately in that Demand.
At the time of presentation of the Annual Financial Statement before the Parliament, a Finance Bill is also presented in fulfillment of the requirement of Article 110 (1)(a) of the Constitution, detailing the imposition abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of taxes proposed in the Budget. It also contains other provisions relating to Budget that could be classified as Money Bill. A Finance Bill is a Money Bill as defined in Article 110 of the Constitution. It is accompanied by a Memorandum explaining the provisions included in it.
Statements mandated under FRBM Act.
i. Macro-Economic Framework Statement The Macro-economic Framework Statement is presented to Parliament under Section 3(5) of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 and the rules made thereunder. It contains an assessment of the growth prospects of the economy along with the statement of specific underlying assumptions. It also contains an assessment regarding the GDP growth rate, the domestic economy and the stability of the external sector of the economy, fiscal balance of the Central Government and the external sector balance of the economy.
ii. Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement
The Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement is presented to Parliament under Section 3(4) of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003. It outlines for the existing financial year, the strategic priorities of the Government relating to taxation, expenditure, lending and investments, administered pricing, borrowings and guarantees. The Statement explains how the current fiscal policies are in conformity with sound fiscal management principles and gives the rationale for any major deviation in key fiscal measures.
iii. Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Statement
The Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Statement is presented to Parliament under Section 3(2) of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003. It sets out the three-year rolling targets for five specific fiscal indicators in relation to GDP at market prices, namely (i) Revenue Deficit, (ii) Fiscal Deficit, (iii) Effective Revenue Deficit (iv) Tax to GDP ratio and (v) Total outstanding Central Government Liabilities at the end of the year. The Statement includes the underlying assumptions, an assessment of the balance between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure and the use of capital receipts including market borrowings for the creation of productive assets.
Note: Medium-Term Expenditure Framework Statement is another document mandated under FRBM Act which is presented to the Parliament separately in the session next to the session in which Budget is presented. It indicates three-year rolling target for expenditure along with delineation of the underlying assumptions and risks