Public Accounts Committee (PAC): Download PAC Indian Polity Notes

By K Balaji|Updated : June 25th, 2022

The Public Accounts Committee is a parliamentary committee that is one of the three committees of financial committees of the standing committees. Public Accounts Committee is constituted by the Parliament of India, and only selected members are part of it. The PAC was established for auditing revenue and the expenditure of the Indian Government.

In the article, we have covered all the related details about public account committees, including their formation, working, members, etc. Those who are preparing for the UPSC must go through this post to strengthen their preparation for the UPSC exam.

Table of Content

What is a Public Accounts Committee?

A Public Accounts Committee is a financial committee that analyses the annual audit report submitted by the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG). The audit reports are not directly provided to the committee; instead, the CAG submits these reports to the President, and hence, the President forwards the reports to the public accounts committee for further observation and analysis.

The annual audit reports analyzed by the public accounts committee are:

  1. The audit report on appropriation accounts
  2. Finance accounting audit report
  3. Audit report on public projects

The first public account committee was constituted in the year 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1919, and since then it has been set up every year.

Members of Public Accounts Committee

Presently, the members of the public accounts committee are 22 in number. Out of these, 15 members are from the Lok Sabha and the remaining 7 are from the Rajya Sabha.

  • Every year, the members of the public accounts committee are elected by the parliament amongst its members.
  • The election of the members of the public accounts committee is done on the basis of the principle of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote, to ensure the equal participation and equal representation of all the parties in the committee.
  • The term of office of the members of this committee is one year.
  • The Public Accounts Committee chairman is appointed by the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chairman has to be amongst the members of the committee.
  • Before 1966-67, the Public Accounts Committee chairman was from the ruling party, but since 1967, the chairman of the committee has been from the opposition party.

Functions of Public Accounts Committee

The task of the public accounts committee is to analyze the annual audit reports submitted by the CAG to the President of India, which are further presented in Parliament by the President.

  • The analysis of the report by the committee is done on certain grounds, such as legal and formal points of view, to find out the technical asymmetries and also on the grounds of economy, prudence, wisdom, and propriety in order to list the issues of waste, losses, extravagance, corruption, inefficiency, and unnecessary expenses.
  • The committee analyzes whether the money spent has been used for the specified purpose or not.
  • The committee looks out whether the description of the expenditure is up to the mark given by the concerned authority or not, and ensures that the expenditures mentioned are completely unambiguous.
  • The committee analyzes the accounts of the state corporations, trading concerns, and manufacturing projects.
  • The public accounts committee also scrutinizes the accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies that are being audited by the CAG.
  • The committee analyses every audit report of the CAG related to any receipt or any account of stores and books.
  • It is also the task of the committee to scrutinize the money disbursed for any of the services during that financial year.

Limitations of Public Accounts Committee

PAS is empowered to at on the audit reports of the CAG. It also keeps track of the union government’s expenses, still, there are some limitations of it.

  • PAC can’t intervene in the questions of policy.
  • PAC can keep track of the expenses only after they are incurred.
  • Public Accounts Committee can’t intervene in matters with day-to-day administration.
  • Being an executive body, It can’t issue an order. Only parliament has the right to take a final decision on its findings.
  • Any recommendations made by PAC can be ignored by ministries.

Public Accounts Committee UPSC

Public Accounts Committee is an essential topic under the Polity and Governance. To understand the proceedings of the system of good governance, it is necessary for an aspirant to prepare such topics comprehensively. Hence for a complete and thorough UPSC Exam preparation, all the concepts of polity and governance should be covered.

Public Accounts Committee is quite an important topic in regard to UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains as well. This post would provide enough information to the aspirants on Public Accounts Committee that would be beneficial for the IAS Exam preparation. Candidates can also check out the UPSC Previous Years Question Papers to understand the types of questions asked by PAC.

Public Accounts Committee UPSC PDF

Below we have provided a direct link to download the Public Accounts Committee UPSC notes PDF. It would help the aspirants during their preparation, and make it easier to cover the Public Accounts Committee Notes with ease.

>> Download Public Accounts Committee UPSC PDF

Public Accounts Committee UPSC Prelims Sample Question

Question: Consider the following statements regarding the public accounts committee.

  1. The Public Accounts Committee is exclusively a committee of the Lower House.
  2. The Public Accounts Committee is the largest committee of the Parliament.
  3. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is invariably from the ruling party.

Select the correct answers from the code given below-

A) Only 1 is correct.

B) Only 1 and 3 are correct.

C) All 1, 2, and 3 are correct.

D) None are correct.

Answer: D) None are correct

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FAQs on Public Accounts Committee

  • The Public Accounts Committee is a committee constituted by the parliament of India, and it consists of selected members of the Parliament for auditing the revenue and the expenditure of the Indian Government.

  • The first-ever Public Accounts Committee was constituted in India in the year 1921, under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1919 or Montague-Chelmsford reforms and since then this committee is been constituted continuously.

  • The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is appointed by the speaker of the Lok Sabha amongst the members of the committee. A minister can neither be elected as a member nor be appointed the chairman of the committee.

  • Up to 1966-67, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee was from the ruling party but since 1967 the Public Accounts Committee chairman is selected invariably from the opposition party.

  • There are 22 members in the Public Accounts Committee, out of which 15 members are from the Lok Sabha while the remaining 7 members are from the Rajya Sabha.

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