- In Discus-Section
- Last Updated on 10 September 2012
- By Harry
- Hits: 1565
A cumulative loss worth three-seven-seven-three-four-five crores (₹377,345 crores) of rupees and finally people sit up and wonder – Really? Loss of our money? And who’s this CAG?
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is an independent authority established under the Constitution of India to promote accountability, transparency and good governance through high quality auditing and accounting and to provide independent assurance to the stakeholders i.e. the Legislature, the Executive and the Public, that public funds are being used efficiently and for the intended purposes.
In short, CAG deals with financial administration and is the one who ensures of no foul play by the government, state government or other government funded bodies. The CAG enjoys the same status as a judge of the Supreme Court of India and can be removed only through a process of impeachment. More importantly, the CAG is appointed by the President of India, following a recommendation by the Prime Minister meaning to say, the present CAG Vinod Rai was actually crowned by Manmohan way back in 2008 (and now the latter sits on the formers tail). Those were the good old days.
Off late, the CAG has come into so much prominence owing to its various landmark audits, ones that exposed preposterous tales of corruption in the system, especially ones involving high-profile ministers favoring certain clients over others in allocation of deals.
The first expose came on the issue of Licenses and Allocation of 2G Spectrum by the then minister for Communications and IT, A. Raja. The CAG report resulted in a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) being filed ultimately leading to the Supreme Court quashing al the 122 licenses handed over in 2008. The official, revised, revenue losses amount to ₹14,000.
Coalgate was what surfaced next. The CAG report stated that the government’s inefficient allocation of national coal deposits to public sector entities and private companies in the period 2004-2009 leading to a “windfall gain” of ₹186,000 to the allocatees. Further investigation found several big names being involved in the scam. Still in debate, Coalgate resulted in a parliament deadlock that saw only seven functional days out of the twenty in session and an adamant Opposition demanding resignation of the PM.
The latest episode in the list of CAG report includes a calculated ₹14,700 crore loss in the power sector at the inefficient hands of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
With corruption engulfing every possible nook and cranny, and scams surfacing in just about every unexpected area, the country is as hell gone to the dogs. But at least there’s a saving grace, there’s one authority that’s doing to its bit to let the truth out. Well, until some other scoop pops up, time to enjoy the political soap opera.