CAG to audit Kejri govt's ad spend, PWD accounts

CAG to audit Kejri govt's ad spend, PWD accounts

CAG to audit Kejri govt's ad spend, PWD accounts

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) will conduct special audit of the AAP government’s two departments – Public Works Department and Department of Information Publicity.

While the AAP government welcomed the move claiming that it would clear doubts over “large” ad spend of the city government, the BJP claimed the move confirmed its suspicion of wasteful expenditure.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a letter, welcomed the CAG decision to enhance transparency but, in a sarcastic way, asked the government auditor to conduct a similar audit of the Central government and other states.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay claimed the CAG audit of Delhi government’s accounts has vindicated their stand that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government has been splurging public money on self promotion. The tenders of the PWD would also expose wrongdoing in road maintenance, construction of public buildings and desilting of big drains, said the BJP leader.

In a letter to Shashi Kant Sharma, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Sisodia said: “Various kinds of misinformation are being spread about our government’s advertisement expenses. It is an outrageous lie which has been repeatedly stated that this expenditure is around Rs 500 crore, which in reality is note more than Rs 75 crore for the entire year, which I am sure will come out in your audit.”

Sisodia said the Delhi government would welcome a similar audit by the CAG of all its departments.

 The deputy chief minister wrote he was disappointed to know that the CAG was only auditing the advertisement expenses of the Delhi government alone.  “It is being portrayed as if Delhi was the only government which was placing advertisements in media outside the state. The CAG is not auditing the advertisement expenses of either the central government or any other state government,” Sisodia wrote.

 The Central government has reportedly spent Rs 1,000 crore on advertising its second year anniversary celebrations. Advertisements were placed in all national dailies in addition to TV and radio campaigns and it ran for more than a week,  Sisodia wrote. 

The governments of Telangana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also carried  massive publicity campaigns.  “Therefore, advertisement expenses of all governments is being debated nationally for the last few years and this was dealt by no less than the Supreme Court,” he said.

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