What is Consolidated Fund of India? Meaning and Key Features

Most of the people are not aware as to how the huge amount of money belonging to the government is kept and accounted. Today, we are going to learn about how the Constitution of India has setup the government accounts. The Government of India accounts are kept in three parts:

  1. Consolidated Fund of India,
  2. Public Account, and
  3. Contingency Fund of India

What is Consolidated Fund of India?

Article 266 (1) of the Indian Constitution deals with the Consolidated Fund. All revenues received by the government, all loans raised by the government and all moneys received in repayment of those loans, subject to certain taxes assigned to states, forms one consolidated fund which is referred to as “the Consolidated Fund of India”.

The Consolidated Fund of India is divided into five parts:

  1. Revenue account – receipts
  2. Revenue account – disbursements
  3. Capital account – receipts
  4. Capital account – disbursements
  5. Disbursements ‘charged’ on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Key Features of the Consolidated Fund of India

  • All revenues received by the Government way of taxes like Income Tax, Central Excise, Customs and other receipts flowing to the Government in connection with the conduct of Government business, i.e., Non-Tax Revenues are credited into the Consolidated Fund.
  • All loans raised by the Government by issue of Public notifications, treasury bills (internal debt) and loans obtained from foreign governments and international institutions (external debt) are credited into the Consolidated Fund.
  • The salary of President of India, Prime Minister of India, Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, etc. are drawn from the Consolidated Fund.
  • Any withdrawal from the consolidated fund can only be made with prior authorization from the Parliament.
  • Those public moneys received by or on behalf of the Government of India that are not covered under Consolidated Fund, are credited to the Public Account of India.
  • Similar to the Center Government, the Indian States also have their own dedicated consolidated fund.
  • No money out of the Consolidated Fund of India (or of State) shall be appropriated except in accordance with a Law of Appropriation.

Comparison between Consolidated Fund, Public Account & Contingency Fund

Difference among Consolidated Fund, Public Account and Contingency Fund
Feature Consolidated Fund Public Account Contingency Fund
Constituted under Article 266(1) Article 266(2) Article 267(1)
Parliamentary Authorisation Before the expenditure No requirement Post the expenditure
Income & Expenditure Includes revenues, received by the government through taxes and expenses incurred in the form of borrowings and loans. Public money other than those under consolidated fund. Money stored for urgent or unplanned expenditures of the government. Fixed Corpus of Rs. 500 crore.
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