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Multi-member body will not dilute CAG powers: Rai

Last Updated: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 18:25

Jaipur: Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai on Saturday said he did not foresee any dilution in the powers of CAG if the organisation is converted into a multi-member body.

"Has the Election Commission got diluted have their powers got diluted," he replied
when asked whether the proposal to make CAG a multi-headed body will dilute its functions.

Rai was talking to reporters after the inauguration of International Centre for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development here.

"Our opinion was called for three years back because a suggestion had come to have a multi-member body of CAG," he said, adding there are three international models for auditing -- the French model, Japanese and Westminster model (which is adopted in Commonwealth countries).

"Parliament has to decide which model is acceptable," Rai added.

"French model is the Court of Audit...They have the powers to punish. Japanese model is Commission of Audit...They have certain seizure powers. Commonwealth nations have Westminster model where we collaborate very closely with the CVC. So if during the course of the audit we find something that needs to be investigated, we pass it on to the CVC," he added.

On the possibility of entering politics after retirement, Rai said, "I don`t want to venture into something new right now. I don`t want to do something that I have not done in the last 40 years."

CAG, Rai said, was also looking into the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Agency (CAMPA) project which has a corpus of Rs 18,000 crore.

"Rs 18,000 crore corpus has been collected but no expenditure or investments have been made, we are looking (at it). We are in dialogue with them," he said.

On asked how the CAG was going to make efforts to plug the leakage of draft reports, Rai said as per the Right to Information Act, it is mandated to reply to queries.

"I am concerned about the leakage of the report, have written about that to the Prime Minister as well as the Speaker of Parliament, but under RTI there may be queries at the first level, I am obliged to give the queries," he said.

Rai further said, "During the final stage I may drop those queries as they have been addressed, but by that time media has already published the draft report so there is the leak. So it does not leak, I have to formally give it to you".

On variation in numbers in the draft and final report, Rai said that the quantum of loss can be debated.

Replying to a query on whether auditing of quality of coal specifically is possible, he said, "If we do the performance audit of Coal India, quality of coal will also get covered."

For every state`s financial and compliance audit there would be a chapter on environment, CAG is doing six-seven environment audits this year (2013-14).

"We have a process of briefing our successor, so I will give briefing to my successor whoever he or she is," Rai said, adding "the auditor anywhere in public or private institution has an adversarial relation, it is meant to be."


First Published: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 18:01
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