New Delhi: Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, under whose watch the auditing body had reported on the 2G spectrum and coal blocks allocation irregularities, has defended private trips by government officials at taxpayers' expense.
Rai, currently chief of the Banks Board Bureau, said on Tuesday that there was nothing wrong with such trips as these were among the perks enjoyed by those in civil service.
A report in the Hindustan Times said on Wednesday that there have been several cases of civil servants paying for private visits through taxpayers' money. This is usually done by fixing up official meetings that are not required.
“So what! I mean, really so what. ... What other facility or perk does a government give me?” Rai said yesterday.
“I mean a colleague’s daughter was getting married and I can’t afford to buy an airline ticket... certainly not when I was in the job... I created a duty and went there, attended the wedding also incidentally and came back and you are wasting your time looking at my travel allowance bill,” he added.
The report said Rai was stressing that vigilance officials should not waste time on smaller transgressions and instead spend their energies on major cases.