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CAG justifies damning report on Maharashtra irrigation scam

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:24

Mumbai: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Tuesday stood by its report that found irregularities in irrigation projects in Maharashtra and told Bombay High Court its conclusions were derived from evidence and replies furnished by the state government and its departments.

The watchdog said this in an affidavit submitted in the High Court in response to a public interest litigation filed by activist Pravin Wategaonkar seeking CBI inquiry into the alleged scam.

The affidavit was filed by M Himabindu, Senior Deputy Accountant General (administration), in the office of Principal Accountant General (Audit)- I.
CAG, in its 2011 report, had pointed out several irregularities in the irrigation projects undertaken by the Government in the state in the last decade or so.

According to the auditor, observations made in the report are based on information given by Konkan Irrigation Development Corp (KIDC) and Water Resources Department while performing the audit between March 2010 and June 2010. The information relied upon was for the period 2005-06 to 2009-10.

"The conclusions were derived on the basis of the evidence and/or replies furnished by the government," the government auditor`s affidavit said.

The CAG assertion came after the government filed an affidavit last month, saying "statements in the report are not final" and justified setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the issue.

The multi-member SIT was constituted on December 31, 2012 to look into various aspects, including increased costs of projects. It comprises high-ranking officers well versed in subjects like water resources, finance and agriculture.

The agency has the powers to fix responsibility and suggest suitable action if irregularities are found.

First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:21
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