After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticized the CAG for entering into the policy space, Rai reportedly toned down the language of the next few reports. The CAG report on Air India, for example, was carefully drafted. Unlike the reports on 2G Spectrum and Commonwealth Games, there are no instances in the report on Air India which would even remotely suggest that the CAG entered into the policy domain. According to a media report, the draft on Air India’s audit included expressions such as “government nudged”, “loss” etc., which were later deleted in the final report. Similarly, his report on KG Basin dragging India’s most powerful corporate group Reliance Industries, was not that harsh either. Here too, CAG did not put any figure of the loss to the exchequer which would have been a headline.
But things may no longer be the same now. After Rai was grilled and almost humiliated by the Congress members of the JPC, there is a strong possibility that he takes on the government again. For the government, it’s a matter of concern as no one knows whether CAG would put an estimated loss to the exchequer in reports on Ultra Mega Power Projects and S-Band spectrum too. Corporate groups like Tata and Anil Ambani-promoted ADAG were awarded Ultra Mega Power Projects.
Rai now wants more power to be given to the CAG to audit the entire Plan expenditure. While talking the CAG’s 150th year celebrations on Wednesday, Rai urged the government to give it the auditing power of projects under public private partnership and other private projects where the government has a stake.
Why Sushil Modi wants CAG to be multi-member?
Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said that the office of the CAG should grow in tandem with the changing times, referring to the fact that it’s 150 years old. The BJP man in Nitish Kumar’s government wants CAG be a multi-member institution. But why is Modi angry with CAG while all his senior colleagues in the party including Murli Manohar Joshi are happy with Rai. Is it the CAG’s catch on AC-DC bills issue, Mr Modi?