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With civil society mounting pressure for transparency in governance, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday called for a government accounting system that enables citizens and social activists to assess performance of public service delivery.

 

"In this age of awareness and information revolution, an average citizen and a social activist wants information to assess the financial health and performance of governments in delivering public services and development schemes...," he said at a CAG function in New Delhi.

 

Mukherjee, who is the chairman of the joint committee of government and civil society on drafting of the contentious LokPal Bill, said that there is a scope for improving the content and quality of the existing accounting system.

 

"We have to keep it in mind that today it is not only Parliament and the Government that require accounting information but there are other important stakeholders, including citizens, analysts, national and international institutions," he said.

 

After some pilot studies, the government is in the process of phased and incremental introduction of a new accounting system, which will provide an effective way to track and assess assets created out of public money.

 

The Finance Minister said that he had asked for a strong IT-based system for recording assets to strengthen the existing disclosures under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

 

"We should focus on areas, which foster transparency, Parliamentary accountability and are of use to decision makers in government," he said.

 

 



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