The development assumes significance in the wake of Silkyara tunnel collapse.
Rapid infrastructure development and expansion in railway network has brought new challenges to the auditors to adapt to the changing environment by bringing appropriate changes in auditing skills and tools, said CAG Girish Chandra Murmu while addressing the director generals of audit of all 17 railway zones and senior officials of the Railway Board on Tuesday.
Murmu said that with the growth of road infrastructure and advancement in road transportation system, the Railways is bound to face stiff competition.
“Hence, all internal earnings that are generated from core, as well as non-core operations of Railways, require serious attention of the auditors,” he said.
Murmu reserved his words of praise for some of the newer initiatives undertaken by the Railway Board, such as the Audit Plan 2023-24 and several relevant audit themes.
“Auditors must interact regularly not only at the Railway Board level, but at the zonal level. The issues regarding sharing of information and audit observations must be regularly discussed,” he said.
“The role of audit assumes significance as an aid to the management when it achieves optimal utilisation of scarce resources. To achieve this, the quality of interface with the auditee is very important,” Murmu added.
The CAG also said that in recent years, several significant audits have been taken up for the Indian Railways. They include auditing of track renewal works, augmentation of station line capacity, dedicated freight corridor, punctual running of passenger trains, derailment, safety operations, unmanned level-crossings, contractual issues, and passenger amenities, among others.
Murmu also said that there is a need to cover non-conventional issues in audit.
“In addition to these issues, we need to cover cross subsidisation, operating ratio, lease payments, pension liability and its impact on railway finances, green energy initiatives, system of project approval including approval for time and cost over-run, inter-zonal comparison of the performance on selected items of works, and analysis of investment pattern of railway commercial undertakings, including dividend payment,” Murmu said.