President Pranab Mukherjee cautions against overreach of any Constitutional body



New Delhi: Amid government attack on CAG for allegedly going beyond its mandate, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday lauded it for shifting from "routine compliance audit to more macro perspective" but cautioned that any attempt to overreach would lead to dissonance in the system.

Mukherjee stressed that while redefining organisational roles and boundaries, all constitutional authorities need to adhere to the fine and calibrated system of checks and balances which form the bedrock of governance structures.

"I am glad that during the past years, CAG's audit has shifted from routine compliance audit to a more macro perspective," he said inaugurating the 26th Conference of Accountants General here.

He, however, did not elaborate on the comments which came amid the accusations by the government on CAG that it was going beyond its mandate of auditing and questioning policies.

At the same time, he underlined that "any attempt by any organ of the State to overreach will unnecessarily lead to dissonance within the system. It is, therefore, necessary that all Constitutional authorities introspect" on their respective roles.

"There will be moments in a nation’s life when institutions would appear to be under stress but as long as we have faith in our basic democratic values and the supremacy of our people and Parliamentary processes, we shall be able to tide over any crisis that we may face," he said.

Addressing the conference, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai said it had been the endeavour of the audit department to provide constructive suggestions for mid-course corrections in the delivery of government schemes.

"We, however, cannot don the role of cheerleaders," Rai said, noting that the role of the audit department had become more dynamic than ever in the past.

At the conference, Parliament's Public Accounts Committee Chairman M M Joshi and Committee on Public Undertakings chief Jagdambika Pal sparred over the recent CAG reports which have put the government in the dock.

PTI