The government on Sunday contested news reports that it was considering a proposal to make the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) a multi-member body, following the recommendation by an expert panel.
CAG is the country's highest auditor and has been on a collision
course with the government in recent times.
Minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy strongly denied any such move shortly after he was quoted by PTI as having said the government was "actively considering" converting CAG into a three-member body, instead of the existing single member at the top.
The measure was viewed as an attempt to clip the agency's wings.
"I did not say so. In fact, I was not specifically asked about CAG…There appears to have been an unsuccessful attempt to put words in my mouth," Narayanasamy told HT.
He said any change in the CAG's basic functioning would require an amendment to the Constitution, which was not even on the government's agenda.
"The Prime Minister made it very clear about three days ago that the present status of every constitutional institution would remain untouched and this includes the CAG also," he said.
Earlier, he was quoted as having said: "It (making CAG a multi-member body) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it."
Narayanasamy was responding to a question on the recommendation by a panel headed by a former CAG VK Shunglu that stated that the country's apex auditor be turned into a three-member body.
Despite the minister's denial, the news agency stood by its story.
"PTI stands by its report… notwithstanding his (minister's) subsequent denial," it said.
Narayanasamy said a GoM set up to examine the Shunglu panel reports was reconstituted after the cabinet reshuffle, and was yet to go through the recommendations.
"It's not correct to draw assumptions from general questions asked about the Shunglu committee reports...," he said.
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