Central government spent Rs 450 crore on Big Four consultancy

10 November 2023 Consultancy.in 2 min. read

The Big Four accounting and consulting giants secured projects worth nearly Rs 450 crore from the central government between 2017 and 2022, according to analysis of public tender information.

Under information made available under the Right To Information Act, reports show that PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG bagged at least 305 consulting assignments worth nearly Rs 500 crore from various government ministries, departments and organisations.

PwC bagged the highest number of contracts, securing at least 92 contracts for over Rs 156 crore between 2017 and 2022. Deloitte was second with 59 assignments worth over Rs 130 crore. EY meanwhile won 87 contracts for Rs 88 crore, while KPMG landed 66 contracts worth Rs 68 crore. 

NY Times: Big Four lawyers take government gigs to shape favorable tax rules

The analysis of the tender information spanned hiring documents from 16 ministries and about 50 departments part the central government. This included institutions responsible for civil aviation; information technology; healthcare; petroleum and natural gas; rural development, climate change; tourism; skill development and entrepreneurship; defence; energy and power; road transport and highways.

Project work spanned all kinds of domains, from strategy consulting and policy development, through to organisational support, evaluations of policy, financial due diligence, project delivery of government-led changes, and more.

Following the revelations (the news was broken first by The Indian Express), the Union Ministry of Finance has instructed all ministries and departments to provide details on their external consulting spend. The ministry has asked for details including the selection process followed, tenure and average remuneration of the consultants, and total bill.

The Big Four in India: $4 billion

The boom in central government spending has lifted the Big Four to record heights in India. In their last fiscal years, PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG generated combined revenues of over $4 billion in India (Rs 32,700 crore) – the highest point in history.

While the Big Four provide a wide range of services such as audit, accounting, tax, financial advisory, consulting, digital, and more, their Indian wings are strongly consulting-focused. Across the Big Four, they tend to generate more than half of their domestic revenue from advisory services.