Central Excise Receipt Audit [CERA] :
“CERA‟ is one of the important aspects of central excise audit. It is conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
Audit by Comptroller and Auditor-General of India: The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (C & AG) is a constitutional authority created under Article 148 of the Constitution of India to audit all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the State Governments, including of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the Government. The C& AG is also the external auditor of Government-owned companies. A report of the C & AG is submitted to the President of India under Article 151 of Constitution of India. The reports of the C& AG are taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees, which are special committees in the Parliament of India and the State Legislatures.
One of the audit functions discharged by C & AG is revenue audit which covers central excise, service tax and customs law. The Central Excise Audit conducted by C & AG is called as CERA (Central Excise Receipt Audit). CERA audits are conducted as a part of audit of Government accounts. Thus, these audits are conducted under Constitutional authority and are in no way connected or related to internal audits carried out by the staff of excise department.
Generally, the CERA audit parties visit the premises of the assessees by giving advance intimation and conduct the audit of the records of the assessees. The CERA audit, in fact, is the examination of the assessees‟ records to point out the deficiencies, leakage of revenue and non-recovery of dues by the Central Excise Department. In this sense, the CERA audit is an audit of efficacy of the Central Excise Department in collecting the duty leviable under the Central Excise Act, 1944.
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