Former bureaucrats come out in support of CAG on 2G issue

The group, which met today, pointed that the key element in parliamentary democracy is the financial accountability of the Executive to Parliament, which is secured through the institution of the CAG.

The former officials, "deplored the attempt that is being made to denigrate the important role of this crucial institution."

In a meeting, 20 former senior bureaucrats, including those associated with the CAG, passed a resolution supporting the CAG and lamented that the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, which has to enforce the accountability of the Executive to Parliament, seems to be in "disarray" with members of both ruling and opposition parties being at loggerheads with each other.

The statement signed by S Krishnan, former Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry and others, said the "casualty" of the development is the importance of accountability.
"The instrument of accountability (CAG) is wittingly or unwittingly being damaged, and the enforcer of accountability, Parliament's Public Accounts Committee seems to be paralysed by internal dissensions," it said.

Referring to the Rs 2,645 crore loss figure projected by former DG, Audit (Post and Telecommunications) R P Singh which was overruled by CAG Vinod Rai subsequently, the statement said it was "amazing" that the routine bureaucratic practice of superior correcting the work of a subordinate is being given a "sinister interpretation".

The statement said while the CAG has always been treated with great respect by PAC and the Committee on Public Undertakings, media reports suggest that this tradition is being abandoned and the "CAG is being treated as a witness and summoned and questioned".
They also lamented that the PAC itself seems to be in "disarray".

"Instead of being a Committee of Parliament for enforcing the accountability of the Executive to Parliament, it 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".

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