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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Under fire CAG finds an ally in SBI chairman

PTI  Mumbai, September 03, 2012
First Published: 21:29 IST(3/9/2012) | Last Updated: 21:31 IST(3/9/2012)

CAG, which has come under attack after some its reports, has got an ally in SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri who today hailed its "substantive" work.

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"I am glad that the CAG has moved away from finding faults in the bills for tea and biscuits, to more substantive issues," Chaudhuri told reporters in Mumbai.

Asked whether banks will be impacted if the 58 coal blocks under scanner were de-allocated, the SBI chief answered in the negative, saying they will not be affected as all the power companies to which lenders have exposure are big names and can thus arrange coal from outside.

In more appreciation of the professionalism at Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG), Chaudhuri said in many cases, CAG officials have moved away from running full-fledged audits when they felt it was not reasonable enough to pursue.

The comments from the Chairman of the country's largest lender come at a time when there is an intense public debate over the recent reports by the CAG on coal block allocations and land allocation to the Delhi airport, which have pegged notional losses at nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore.

BJP is demanding resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who held coal portfolio in the past, over the coal allocation issue and has stalled Parliament for over a week.

The CAG report claimed the exchequer lost a whopping Rs. 1.86 lakh crore in unrealised revenue in allocation of coal
blocks to private companies.

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