Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that “a mountain was being made out of a molehill” over the comptroller and auditor general's (CAG) report on the Commonwealth Games.
“Too much noise is being made about the CAG's report. Please read the constitutional mandate of the CAG,” Mukherjee said, replying to a debate on the Appropriation Bill, 2011, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
He said the CAG's mandate was to keep an eye on the executive to make sure that financial rules were being followed on the expenditure side. He said if there was any deviation, the CAG pointed it out and brought it to the notice of Parliament.
“Now, if you want to make a mountain out of a mole hill, you are free to do so, but that does not distort the picture or the ground reality,” said Mukherjee.
Earlier this week, the BJP brought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit under fire over lapses and mismanagement of the Commonwealth Games.
He criticised the culture of disruption of Parliament by the Opposition, saying that the BJP had become a "little impatient."
“We are the actors. Parliamentary democracy is dependent on how we behave,” he said. He said the country's image was affected as much by legislature failing to discharge its responsibility of debating as by corruption.
Joshi attacks govt
At a time when the government has been saying that the CAG report on Commonwealth Games has to be vetted by PAC, its chairman Murli Monohar Joshi accused the Congress and the government of attacking the constitutional institution.
Taking exception to Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari using “peeps, leaks and squeaks” term for CAG report, Joshi said Congress should make it clear if this was their official line. “The Congress should clarify if it agrees with the statement of its spokesperson and, if not, then make it clear as to what action it is going to take,” he said.
Tewari responded: “It is amusing that the chairperson of PAC, that must be exercising oversight on the reports of the CAG, has decided to become the pro bono defence counsel of the CAG. Is this convergence of interests, a coincidence or is there is something more to it.”