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Accounting standard: CAG pulls up 26 PSUs in Bengal
April, 03rd 2007

Twenty-six public sector units in West Bengal have failed to comply with accounting standards (AS) in preparation of their financial statements, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India's (CAG) report on the state government's commercial establishments for the year to March 31, 2006.

One of the areas of violation was in the AS 15, which deals with the accounting for retirement benefits like provident fund, pension and gratuity, the report said. According to the AS 15, "... contribution payable by the employer towards retirement benefits should be charged to statement of Profit and Loss for the year on accrual basis and the accruing liability should be calculated on actuarial basis."
Out of 26 companies, which finalised their previous year's accounts to March 2005, 20 companies persistently violated the AS 15.

Almost all the major coporations-- from West Bengal Tourism Development Corp Ltd, West Bengal State Leather Industries Development Corp Ltd to West Bengal Surface Transport Corp Ltd have violated the AS 15, the report said.

Besides violation of the AS 15, the CAG report pointed out other cases of not following accounting standards. The West Bengal Tourism Development Corp and West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd did not follow the accounting standard 1, "which deals with disclosure of significant accounting policies in preparing and presenting financial statement."

CAG has pointed out that the preparation of accounts without complying with the mandatory accounting standards vitiated the financial position and working results of these companies in the respective years. CAG had brought this to the notice of the government in June 2006 but did not receive any reply till September 2006.

Besides the AS 15 violation, the state PSUs were guilty of delay in placing the annual reports. "There were delays in placing the reports ranging from one to five years by 21 companies, six to 10 years by 12 companies mainly on account of delays in finalisation of accounts," the report said.

CAG also said even after holding the AGMs, delays of four to 54 months were noticed in respect of the last five finalised accounts by all the 61 companies.

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