New Delhi: A parliamentary committee is
understood to have slammed the Army for "denying access" to
auditors to look into the accounts of the Unit Run Canteens
(URCs) even ignoring Defence Ministry`s directions in this
There are 3,600 URCs in the country which are the retail
sellers of consumer goods provided to them by the Canteen
Stores Department (CSD).
The Comptroller and Auditor General has been seeking to
audit accounts of the URCs on grounds that the CSD transfers
money from the consolidated fund of India in form of
This has been opposed by the armed forces claiming that
URCs are run by non-public fund.
"The Committee is dismayed to note that Audit was denied
access to records of the URCs by the Army Headquarters in
spite of repeated requests on ground that URCs are regimental
units and are being run from non-public fund.
"What is more intriguing is the fact that such denial
was made despite directions of the Defence Ministry to make
records of the URCs available for audit," the Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) is understood to have said in its report,
which is expected to be tabled in Parliament soon.
On the argument of armed forces that audit of URCs will
have an impact on morale of troops, the PAC said, "We fail to
understand that how auditing of URCs would be so intrusive as
to have an adverse impact on the morale of troops."
The committee is believed to have noted the finances of
the CSD were brought under ambit of audit from April 1, 1977
but "surprisingly and for no cogent reasons, the URCs
continued to be treated as private regimental institutions
outside parliamentary control".
The PAC said, to depict the entire organisation
operation of the CSD, "it is imperative that the URCs follow
uniform accounting principles and their operational results
are disclosed in proforma accounts of the CSD".
"The Committee is of the considered view that an
assessment of the overall functioning of URCs by the CAG is of
paramount importance and therefore must be subject to
statutory audit," it is understood to have noted.