Uttarakhand governo

Uttarakhand governor KK Paul recently met up with top officials of the Forest Department, very unusual, I am taking maybe two or three speaking assignments a month and this keeps me energised, he says Besides thishe plays a daily game of tennis at the Gymkhana Club and is getting used to life as a private citizen Excerpts from an interview with Ritu Sarin: With the CAG reports on 2G spectrum and coaland the actions of the CBIincluding the latest FIR in the Hindalco casethe industry and the bureaucracy are running scared Did you anticipate such a reaction There is no smoke without fireotherwise why do you think we (the CAG and CBI) would jump into such issues These subjects fall in the category of irregularities and inappropriateness And the CAG doesnt look at the economy with an audit microscopeit looks at actions and implementation The CBI looks at criminality What about the impact on investor sentiment The investor is not ignorant of what is happening on the ground It is not as if he not aware of what is happening or how opaque things are Crony capitalism is not something created by the CAG People are able to see what is happening and they dont have to wait for the CAG or the CBI to know that such issues exist These things are already in the public domain and a lot was knownfor instanceabout the spectrum case before the CAG got into it There are manylet us saywhispers in the corridors too But UPA ministers continue to blame you as CAG for the state of the economy First it was Kapil Sibal and now Manish Tewari What is your reaction to such criticism even after you have demitted office I chose not to react then and I will not react now All this makes no difference to me But the estimated losses assessed by the CAG as high as Rs 17 lakh crore in the 2G spectrum case and around Rs 18 lakh crore in the coal allotment scam are unprecedented The size of the economy has increasedso the size of government contracts has also gone up Besidesthe citizen has become empowered enough to ask questions that might be inconvenient People in governmenteveryoneeven the corporationshave to answer these questions The RTI has made a big difference Transparency and accountability have come to stayand you can no longer take decisions in an opaque mannerwith appalling brazenness Now it is citizens at the centreand the government knows that all decisions can come under intense public scrutiny There is a contradiction here You justified the poor inflows from the sale of 2G spectrum when the government finally conducted auctions by saying that this was because the economy was in a slump Isnt that so Market determinants are not static If you buy an apartment nowthe price will not be the same as it was three years ago Similarlyfor the price of spectrumthere was a huge differential between 2008-09 and 2012when the spectrum sales were done first on first-cum-first-serve and then via auctions Markets are subject to change and valuation I am also repeating what I have said several times earlier the CAG has never questioned or criticised government policy Coming to the coal allotment scamwhy did the CAG change its formula of calculating losses from notional to windfall gains Windfall gain is a term Coal Secretary PC Parakh himself used when he talked about loss to the government The CAG report uses Parakhs argument as the cornerstone of its assessment of windfall gains How do you feel now that he himself has been named by the CBI as an accused in the Hindalco allotment case I do not want to comment on the actions of the CBIbut I think that the prime ministers office has now issued a detailed clarification Parakh is not in any trouble It has been clarified that all the decision-takers together arrived at the formula when the company got a 15 per cent stake All the issues have been addressed by the PMO And the CAG also had all the information and correspondence on the Hindalco casebut it did not figure in our final report for this very reason We did not put it in because we found all the justifications After an eventful five-year term as CAGare you satisfied with the extent of wider auditing coverage achieved When you took over you said only 60 per cent of the government was under audit We were able to bring in all PPPspanchayati raj institutions and NGOs getting government funding under audit RoughlyI think90 per cent of the government is now covered by the CAGbut much of this has been done through executive ordersnot an amendment in our act Is there any other systemic change you wanted to bring aboutbut failed The low levels of scrutiny of CAG reports by Parliaments public accounts committee (PAC)for instance The CAG does roughly 160 reports every yearbut only about 20 of them are discussed at length by the PAC It is the CAG who advises which should be scrutinised Some sub-committees were set up for wider scrutinybut I dont know how effectively they are working now Yesit is a failure of the system and in some countriesparliamentary reviews of audit reports go on through the year We should also do more For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related News Other guest lecture engagements have been fixed at conferences of the International and Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.By: AFP | Published: July 12 and China,40 PM.

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