Govt releases Natural Resource Accounting to track mineral, energy deposits

Source: The post is based on the article “Govt releases Natural Resource Accounting to track mineral, energy deposits” published in Business Standard on 16th July 2022

What is the News?

The Government Accounting Standards advisory board(GASAB) has come up with a Natural Resource Accounting(NRA) for tracking and maintaining the natural resources of India.

Note: India is a signatory to the 2016 UN General Assembly Resolution —“Transforming the World, the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development” which requires the preparation of Natural Resource Accounts(NRA).

What is the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board(GASAB)?

GASAB was established in the year 2002 by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) with the assistance of the Ministry of Finance.

Purpose: To formulate and improve standards of government accounting and financial reporting and enhance accountability mechanisms.

Chairperson: Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Government Accounts) 

Members: The Board has high-level representation from the important accounting heads in Government, Ministry of Finance, Department of Post, Finance Secretaries of states, RBI and heads of premier accounting & research organizations.

What is Natural Resource Accounting(NRA)?

GASAB had prepared a concept paper on Natural Resource Accounting (NRA) envisaging short, medium and long-term goals starting from 2020.

The first goal was the preparation of asset accounts on mineral and energy resources, more importantly of the non-renewable and finite resources which would ultimately aid in building resilience to environmental issues like climate change.

To date, all 28 States and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have prepared the Asset Accounts for 2020-21. The Asset Accounts captured details of 34 major minerals, 58 minor minerals and all four fossil fuels.

The formats of asset accounts have been designed in keeping with the prescriptions of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting central framework(SEEA).

Note: The UN adopted the System of Economic and Environmental Accounting(SEEA) framework in 2012. It is an internationally accepted framework for NRA.

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