Indian History

Contingency Fund of India

Article 267 of the Constitution authorises the existence of a Contingency Fund of India which is an imprest placed at the disposal of the President of India to facilitate meeting of urgent unforeseen expenditure by the Government pending authorization from the Parliament. Parliamentary approval for such unforeseen expenditure is obtained, expost- facto, and an equivalent amount is drawn from the Consolidated Fund to recoup the Contingency Fund after such ex-post-facto approval. The corpus of the Contingency Fund as authorized by Parliament presently stands at `500 crore.

Moneys held by Government in trust are kept in the Public Account. The Public Account draws its existence from Article 266 of the Constitution of India. Provident Funds, Small Savings collections, income of Government set apart for expenditure on specific objects such as road development, primary education, other Reserve/Special Funds etc., are examples of moneys kept in the Public Account. Public Account funds that do not belong to the Government and have to be finally paid back to the persons and authorities, who deposited them, do not require Parliamentary authorisation for withdrawals. The approval of the Parliament is obtained when amounts are withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund and kept in the Public Account for expenditure on specific objects. The actual expenditure on the specific object is again submitted for vote of the Parliament for withdrawal from the Public Account for incurring expenditure on the specific objects.