Economy

Govt, CAG are not opponents, asserts Chidambaram

| | Updated on: Oct 09, 2012
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Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is keen to erase the impression in public minds that the Government and the CAG have turned into adversaries, post the spate of controversial audit findings tabled in Parliament by the Government auditor.

Addressing the 26th Accountants General Conference here, Chidambaram said he would work with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and his colleagues to erase the notion of ‘adversaries’ and restore trust and confidence in all institutions of Government.

For reasons which are inexplicable, the CAG and the Government have been cast as adversarial to each other, Chidambaram rued, noting that unfortunately some dissonance has crept into the public discourse on this matter.

"Perhaps this is because of the nature in the functions of the government and CAG," he said.

Good governance

Chidambaram said that the CAG has played a key role in addressing the issues of good governance and the government is obliged to take necessary actions to address the gaps in governance.

"Policymaking is often through trial and error. Decisions are taken often without full information and in an environment of uncertainty. Audit is a post-decision exercise,'' he said.

Noting that institutions and individuals are always in a learning process, Chidambaram said that the Supreme Court’s recent opinion (relating to Presidential reference on allocation of natural resources) has brought about a great degree of clarity.

Govt, audit department

CAG Vinod Rai said in his address that the presence of Chidambaram among the Accountants General was significant in more ways than one. "It reflects the deep mutual respect between the government and audit department.''

Audit is not an adversary and neither is it merely a fault finding mechanism, he said.

"We like to see ourselves as providing an objective and balanced feedback to the government without fear or favour. We do not for a moment think that it is our business to tell the government what to do and what not to do.

We tell the government through our audit reports, whether departments were able to achieve what they set out to do," Rai said.

srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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