New Delhi: The government on Sunday did a flip-flop on converting the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into a multi-member body.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s Office V Narayanasamy had told news agency PTI in an interview that the government was considering a former CAG`s suggestion for making the official auditor a multi-member body.
"It (Shunglu panel`s suggestion to make changes in CAG) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it," Narayanasamy said during the interview.
He, however, later backtracked and denied making any such remarks. The minister told television channels that he was "misquoted".
Narayanasamy told the channels that he had told the PTI reporter that six reports of the Shunglu Committee were under Government consideration.
"He (PTI reporter) did not specifically ask me about CAG. I did not specifically reply to him about CAG which he misquoted me saying that the government is considering making CAG a multi-member body. I did not say that," the minister claimed.
PTI however stood by its report on Narayanasamy’s remarks.
PTI said in the course of the interview, Narayanasamy was asked about the recommendation made by former CAG VK Shunglu that the CAG should be made multi-member body.
He replied, "It (Shunglu panel`s suggestion to make CAG a multi-member body) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it."
Shunglu had suggested that "a three-member body would obtain greater transparency in its operation. One member should possess professional accounting qualifications, Chartered Accountant or its equivalent."
"This should not seem to exclude an Indian Audits and Accounts Service officer from the triumvirate, who has wide exposure to finance, audit and accounts and best international practices in these areas," Shunglu had said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Narayanasamy had also said that CAG has become "more impatient" and he wants that all constitutional bodies to work within their parameters.
Apparently referring to comments made by incumbent CAG Vinod Rai on various occasions, he said, "It is unfortunate (that) the constitutional body in this country is commenting on the government taking some decisions."
"Of late I have found, CAG is making remarks which are unwarranted. According to me, it is unwarranted and unnecessary. I think, nowadays he (Rai) has become more impatient. That is what I feel from my side."
"By saying this I am not criticising. I am telling that everybody in the government has to function within the parameters given to them," Narayanasamy said.
(With PTI inputs)