CAG for independent body to check traffic data on PPP roads

CAG today said it has requested the finance ministry to appoint a single independent agency to the collect traffic data from such projects.

Last Updated: May 14, 2010, 21:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Indicating revenue leakages in
toll collection from highways built on the PPP model, the
nation`s top auditor CAG today said it has requested the
finance ministry to appoint a single independent agency to the
collect traffic data from such projects.

"We, in our study, have found that traffic projections
can go totally haywire. Why not have a single professionally
competent agency doing it (monitoring of traffic)?,"
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai told a
construction summit in the Capital.

"We have taken it up with the finance ministry," he
later told newsmen.

Such an authority is needed as traffic projections vary
on same types of roads in the same areas with different
developers, pointed out the CAG, and said that it has also
requested the government to allow it to check the accounts of
all projects on public-private-partnership (PPP) basis.
"The government should inform the developers upfront that
there is every likelihood of their books being questioned by
the public auditor," Rai said.

The move assumes significance considering the fact that
except in certain cases, the top auditor has no access to
non-government firms.

The CAG also criticised the methods used in financing
the PPP projects. The CAG pointed out that 24 per cent of 67
projects studied by it, funding was done through memorandum of
understanding or on negotiated basis in which the "price
discovery mechanism gets lost. A better way would be to go
through the bidding process (while finalising the funds),
which we would call a transparent process," Rai said.

PTI

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