'Unauthorised colony legalisation based on ground realities'

'Unauthorised colony legalisation based on ground realities'

In an apparent dig at the recent CAG reports, Urban Development minister Kamal Nath today said that the government's decision to legalise the unauthorised colonies in Delhi was based on ground realities but "somebody" could allege that this constituted a presumptive loss to the exchequer.

"The question today is what is desirable and, on the other hand, what is feasible. I spoke about colonies, nearly 1,640 of them which are on government land. I spoke about it, tomorrow someone will say that so much land has been given, there is going to be presumptive loss," he said.

The minister was speaking after delivering a speech at the office of CAG where he had come to participate in a seminar on Performance Reporting for Urban Local Bodies. "It can be a presumptuous loss but someone tells what is the way out," Nath said, adding that he was not talking about any theory but about ground realities.

"This was a seminar on urban local bodies, municipalities, nagar palikas, nagar panchayats. I did say we have to practice the art of the feasible and not the art of the desirable... There was no question of praising or criticising. This was a focussed seminar, so I spoke on the subject and did bring in concerns which are there in implementation. Concerns in Urban local bodies in implementation, etc," he said.

"There is no question of criticising or praising. I did say that the CAG has an important role in the country. That is the institution of the CAG and that is what is envisaged in our constitution," the Urban Development minister said.

Nath also said there should be a continuous dialogue between the audited body and the auditor. "Between the audited entity and the CAG, there must be continuous dialogue so that they are on the same page," he said.

When asked to comment on the CAG report on coal block allocations, Nath said, "The CAG reports to the Parliament. It will be highly improper for me to comment on what the Parliament is looking at. At the moment it is the Public Accounts Committee which will comment on the contents of the report."