Finance Minister cautions CAG against sensationalism

Finance Minister cautions CAG against sensationalism

Toeing the line of his predecessor in UPA government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to exercise restraint and not sensationalise findings only to make it to media headlines.

At the annual conference of the CAG, Jaitley said the auditor has to be active but must also exercise restraint.

“Auditor should be conscious of the fact that he is reviewing a decision that has already been taken. Have the fair procedures been followed? He doesn't have to sensationalise. He doesn't have to get into the headlines,” the finance minister said.

The CAG during the UPA regime had questioned the policies of the government in the allocation of spectrum and coal blocks, which was criticised by then finance minister P Chidambaram, who had charged the CAG with “overstepping” his limits by attempting to convert bonafide executive decisions into either crimes or abuse of authority. The Opposition, however, had lauded the report in Parliament and outside.

Jaitley said that an auditor must be able to distinguish between a wrong decision and a corrupt one. “If he finds it is a corrupt one, then the level of discretion he exercises in commenting has to be entirely different," he said.

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