PAC panel report on CAG role ready

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The much-awaited report of a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee that scrutinised the “powers and accountability” of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) vis-a-vis the powers of parliament is ready.

It will be formally submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan “for her perusal and further considerations”, a source told IANS here.

Whereas the content of the report is being stated to be “confidential”, last year, it was suggested that the PAC may favour making CAG accountable to legislature – that is the parliament and state assemblies.

In September last year, at the conference of chairpersons of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) from across the country, a 20-point charter of suggestions and observations had been framed, and subsequently, a sub-committee headed by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Nishikant Dubey was set up to study the suggestions made in the meeting.

The panel also comprising members like B. Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal) and Bhubeneshwar Kalita (Congress) is said to have made “appropriate recommendations”.

The report after consideration and scrutiny of the speaker could be also referred to the the President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The move to set up a committee to study on the powers and accountability of the CAG had sparked off minor row as it was also seen as an “attempt” to dilute the powers of the official auditor.

The BJP had, however, denied the charge.

Dubey had earlier said: “The CAG of India is not accountable today even for lapses and certain irregularities it commits in its audit report itself. During the 15th Lok Sabha, when Meira Kumar was speaker and Manmohan Singh the prime minister, a suggestion was made by the then PAC that the CAG should be part of legislature like in United Kingdom and Australia.”

Among other things there was one suggestion to bring amendments in the CAG Act of 1971 to bring the auditor under the jurisdiction of parliament.

The PAC headed by veteran BJP parliamentarian Murli Manohor Joshi in the 15th Lok Sabha had recommended that the PAC be consulted by the government before the appointment of the CAG.

One member had also suggested that total independence of the CAG making it a part of the PAC would “only add to the harmonious relations between CAG and the PAC”.



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