‘Taxpayers have right to know how money is spent’
As demands for thorough scrutiny of spending of public funds grow, Vice President Hamid Ansari said citizens have every right to know how the tax-payers money is being spent by the government to implement various programmes.
On Board Special Aircraft: As demands for
thorough scrutiny of spending of public funds grow, Vice
President Hamid Ansari Sunday said citizens have every right to
know how the tax-payers money is being spent by the government
to implement various programmes.
He also said that if any funds spent by the government
did not come under the scrutiny of Comptroller and Auditor
General of India then it was nothing but a "lacuna".
"With the changing direction in which the public funds
are going, the public, through its representative in
Parliament, has a right to know whether the money is being
spent correctly, incorrectly, what manners and in accordance
of mandate or not," he told reporters accompanying him to his
two-nation tour of Czech Republic and Croatia.
He was asked to give his views on demands for
accountability in spending public funds.
Ansari said the manner in which public funds were
being channeled for public purposes was changing and it is not
the same what it was when the Constitution was adopted.
Asked whether bodies like Comptroller and Auditor
General of India was nothing but "tooth-less tigers", the Vice
President said it was not correct to say so as CAG was an
institution which was created by the Constitution and it has a
place in it.
"I don`t think they are tooth-less. The public
accounts committee is a very powerful body and the CAG reports
are considered by the PAC. It is not correct to say that CAG
reports are teeth-less. There is a procedure and the procedure
has to follow," he said.
On whether spending of all government funds should be
brought under the scrutiny of CAG, Ansari said he had
discussed the issue when he had visited Shimla recently to
attend the Golden Jubilee celebration of Audit and Accounts
"My view there (in Shimla) was that anything in which
public money is going out of the consolidated funds of the
Government of India, should be brought within the realm of
CAG. If it is not actually so, it is probably a lacuna. But
this is something in which the government would have to take a
view, the Parliament would have to take a view," he said.
Ansari also expressed confidence that he and
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar would be able to work out a
consensus on tackling the problem of frequent disruptions in Parliament as there is a "realisation"
among political parties.
Ansari, who is also the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, said
there was a realisation among the public and within the bodies
of Parliament that some of "our time is lost for a variety of
"There is a realisation (among political parties) that
we have to think, think together, how we can minimise this
loss of time so that we can maximise the time taken for agenda
of Parliament. That is something a good deal of thinking is
going on within the political parties," he told reporters
accompanying him on his two-nation tour of Czech Republic and
He was asked to comment on the frequent disruptions in
both houses of Parliament.
"I have spoken to the Hon`ble speaker of Lok Sabha
(Meira Kumar). She is equally concerned. So, through a process
of careful consensus we will be able to find solution to this
problem," he said.
On India`s bid for a permanent membership in the UN
Security Council, Ansari said efforts were on to bring reforms
in the world body.
"The process is on in New York. There has been
incremental progress. Until sometime back there have been
total impasses," Ansari said.
"As a result of interested countries like ourselves,
Brazil, Japan, Germany, some progress has been made in
negotiating strategies. So now the work on that is going on in
New York to work on a document that will form the basis of
further consultation and how to go about the reforms of this
institution," he said.