The finance ministry spent as much as Rs 1,157 crore on various heads in FY18 without getting prior approval of Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in a report tabled in the House on Tuesday. Flagging the issue of under-utilisation of cess, the CAG said while the collection of R&D cess touched Rs 8,077 crore between 1996-97 and 2017-18, only Rs 779 crore \u2014 or just 9.6% \u2014 was disbursed by the government to the relevant entity (Technology Development Board). Moreover, even after the cess was abolished in April 2017, an amount of Rs 191.41 crore and Rs 1.14 crore was \u201cirregularly collected\u201d during 2017-18 and 2018-19 (up to September 2018), respectively, the auditor said. The auditor also dwelt upon the persistent \u201cshort transfer\u201d of funds with regard to road and clean energy cesses. The \u201cshort transfer\u201d of road cess and clean energy cess stood at Rs 72,726 crore and Rs 44,505 crore, respectively, up to March 2018, according to the financial audit of the Union government accounts for 2017-18 done by the CAG. Also Read:\u00a0Azim Premji honoured with lifetime achievement award, Siddhartha Lal of Eicher Motors is entrepreneur of the year: EOY Awards It also highlighted that contrary to the established procedure, Rs 94,036 crore collected under the secondary and higher education cess since FY07 was retained in the Consolidated Fund of India, instead of transferring to the fund (Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh) that was created for this purpose. Some analysts, however, say such a transfer to the relevant fund is just a technicality and what matters is if the funds are indeed spent on the desired purpose or not. The finance ministry didn\u2019t devise an appropriate mechanism in respect of new service\/new instrument of service, which led to the extra spending. \u201cAs per the guidelines, any augmentation of provision by way of re-appropriation to the object heads (i) grants-in-aid (ii) subsidies (iii) major works attracts limitation of New Service (NS)\/New Instrument of Service (NIS) and hence requires prior approval of Parliament,\u201d the CAG report said. Even the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had also taken serious view on cases of augmentation of provision of object head \u2018grants-in-aid\u2019 and \u2018subsidies\u2019, the report added. The PAC had noted that these serious lapses are a pointer towards faulty budget estimation and deficient observances of financial rules by the ministries\/departments concerned. \u201cDespite the PAC recommendations, ministry of finance had not devised a suitable mechanism, as result of which, during 2017-18 in cases across 13 grants, there was excess expenditure over total authorisation aggregating to Rs 1,156.80 crore without obtaining approval of Parliament,\u201d the CAG report said.