Saturday, November 12, 2011

20 ex-bureaucrats issue a signed statement voicing against attempts to weaken CAG

Rai (2nd from left) on 150 years' celebrations of CAG
AS many as 20 former bureaucrats including former secretary, ex-additional secretaries and ex-auditors in Comptroller and Auditor General have come out with a signed statement expressing concerns over what they called “the current attempt to undermine and weaken” the institution of CAG over its figure on presumptive revenue losses out of 2G spectrums sale.
The former bureaucrats, who were “disturbed by the dismissive remarks” about the CAG by politicians, included former water resources secretary Ramaswamy R Iyer, former minister, Audit, Indian High Commission London Nilamabar Srivastava, ex-additional secretaries S Krishnan and BS Ramaswamy and former deputy CAGs S Laxminarain, Dr BP Mathur, R Parameswar, Dharam Vir, I.P Singh, Vijay Kumar among others.
“The instrument of accountability (CAG) is wittingly or unwittingly being damaged, and the enforcer of accountability (PAC) seems to be paralysed by internal dissensions,” former additional secretary in ministry of finance and spokesman of the group S Krishnan said in a statement. “It is amazing that the routine bureaucratic practice of a superior correcting the work of a subordinate is being given a sinister interpretation,” the group said referring to CAG Vinod Rai’s overruling of auditor RP Singh who pegged the loss at Rs 2,645 crore instead of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. (Read: Vinod Rai as India’sMost Powerful Bureaucrat)
According to Krishnan, there is a long and hoary tradition that the CAG is the friend, philosopher and guide of the PAC. “The CAG has always been treated with great respect by the PAC and the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU). It appears from media reports that this tradition is being abandoned and the CAG is being treated as a witness and summoned and questioned,” the statement said.
The group was further anguished by the fact that PAC seems to be “functioning as a group of representatives of different political parties, with the representatives of the Opposition trying to cause the utmost discomfiture to the ruling party, and the representatives of the ruling party trying fiercely to defend that party against any criticism.”
The group of the retired bureaucrats also appealed to the government, political parties and the members of PAC and the JPC to “pause and reflect on this critical issue before further damage is inadvertently caused to the institution of CAG and to the committees themselves.”
Here are the 20 signatories of the statement in support of the CAG...

1. Ramaswamy R Iyer (ex-secretary, ministry of water resources, Government. of India)
2 R.Parameswar (ex-Deputy CAG)
3. Dr BP Mathur (ex-Deputy CAG)
4. Dharam Vir (ex-Deputy CAG)
5. IP Singh (ex-Deputy CAG)
6. S Laxminarain (ex-Deputy CAG)
7 .Vijay Kumar (ex-Deputy CAG)
8. Kanwal Nath (ex-Deputy CAG)
9. BS Ramaswamy (ex-additional secretary, Government of India)
10. S Krishnan (ex-additional secretary, Government of India)
11. AM Sehgal (former Controller General of Accounts)
12. Dhirendra Krishna, former GM, BHEL
13. Nilamabar Srivastava, former minister, audit, Indian High Commission, London
14. Lachhman Singh (former Principal Accountants General)
15. Surinder Pal (former Principal Accountants General)
16. Rajeshwar Prasad, former director finance, Oil India,
17. J Mandal, former Director General, Audit
18. TL Gupta (Director, Institute of Public Auditors of India)
19. KL Kapoor (Director, Institute of Public Auditors of India)
20. Harish Chander (Director, Institute of Public Auditors of India)

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