Coalgate scam: Govt slams CAG for not working within mandate of Constitution
Chennai: Government on Saturday charged the Comptroller and Auditor General with not working within the mandate of the Constitution and said it had no authority to comment on its policy.
"CAG has no authority or right to comment on the policy of the government but unfortunately it has questioned its authority, which is totally unwarranted and against the mandate given to them", Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy told reporters here.
He was asked questions on CAG's findings that private firms had got "undue benefits" of Rs 3.06 lakh crore in the coal, aviation and power sectors.
Noting that government has presented all documents to the country's top auditor, he said "CAG has to work within a certain mandate given under the Constitution. Policy framing is the domain of government of India, that is the elected government."
In its reports presented in Parliament yesterday, CAG has estimated financial benefit of over Rs 3.06 lakh crore to private parties in coal blocks allotment without bidding, Delhi airport development and diversion of coal to a power project.
"As far as the coal blocks allocation is concerned, before UPA government, in 2003 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, 24 coal block allocations were given without receiving applications. They gave them according to their whims and fancies", Narayansamy said.
Stating that UPA government wanted auction of coal blocks, he recalled that former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, both of BJP, had opposed coal block allocation through auction as they wanted the present system of screening committee to be followed.
"The BJP government supported it. Now, BJP is opposing it. It is the double standards of BJP, which is very clear from that", Narayanasamy said.