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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Finance ministry gives clean chit to CAG

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 23, 2012
First Published: 23:25 IST(23/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:09 IST(24/12/2012)

Even as Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai was constantly under fire from ministers and leaders of the ruling establishment, Union finance ministry has given a clean chit to the constitutional body, emphasizing that there is "no cause of concern" regarding the impartiality of the accounts watchdog.

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Replying to questions raised by NDA patriarch LK Advani and CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta, the finance ministry recently furnished a written note to Parliament on the appointment and functioning of the CAG.

While defending the CAG appointment process, the ministry said, "There is no urgent concern about CAG being partisan or working in favour of the government or a particular political party."

"As custodian of public purse, CAG has played the role of a vanguard in reporting on financial irregularities, irrespective of the government in power," the reply said.

The question on the appointment of CAG was slated for the zero hour in Lok Sabha during the winter session but could not be taken up due to disruptions. The reply, however, was officially sent to the opposition leaders. 

Some of the reports prepared by the CAG - especially those on the 2G spectrum allocation and coal block allotments - have not only provided ammunition to the opposition but also invoked huge debates over its process to compute losses.

The opposition egged on the CAG report and had even demanded resignation of the Prime Minister for overlooking "corruption issues".  But the statement of the government says "there has been no cause of concern regarding its impartiality and professionalism, irrespective of the government under which they are appointed."


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