Coming from a senior minister, this statement is significant, because CAG’s reports on the 2G spectrum allocation scam and the Commonwealth Games scandal had evoked sharp reaction from a few government functionaries
New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday backed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the context of reports on various scams, saying the government auditor has not exceeded its jurisdiction, reports PTI.
“I am making it clear that I do not think that CAG is exceeding its jurisdiction or things like that, because (the) basic responsibility of the CAG is to identify if there is any lapse,” he said during a conference here.
The statement is significant in view of the attacks from some quarters in the government criticising the CAG for exceeding its mandate. CAG’s reports on the 2G spectrum allocation and the Commonwealth Games had evoked sharp reaction from a few government functionaries.
“So far as the role of the CAG is concerned, it is a Constitutional role. As far as my knowledge about the functioning of the CAG is concerned, the job of CAG is only to find out financial irregularities in context of rules, laws and regulations as laid down by the government,” Mr Mukherjee said.
He further said, “If out of 100, in 98 cases, the government has done the correct things, they (CAG) will ignore it. They just pick up only those two things where some irregularities have taken place.”
However, he added that it is for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to examine whether the “actual losses have taken place or whether it is a notional loss.”
“A CAG report”, Mr Mukherjee said, “is not automatically accepted by Parliament. PAC examines it; they submit a report; and then if the report is accepted by Parliament, action takes place.”
The Finance Minister feels that growth prospects for the current financial year would be impacted by the global economic slowdown—and the tight monetary policy followed by the RBI has also impacted growth during the current fiscal
New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that the global slowdown will impact India’s growth prospects, but expressed hope that inflation will start moderating from December, reports PTI.
However, he maintained that the Indian economy growing at 8%—down from 8.5%—in 2010-11, will still be a “reason for celebrations”.
Referring to the growth prospects for the current financial year, the minister said it would be impacted by the global economic slowdown. “The news that India would grow annually at 8% would be a reason for celebrations,” he said at the annual conference of Economic Editors here.
Mr Mukherjee attributed both the economic slowdown and rising inflation to global economic problems, especially the rising price of crude oil in international markets, which has remained high at around $105 a barrel.
He attributed near double-digit inflation mainly to rising global commodity prices.
“Inflation remained sticky around 9%. I expect the overall WPI inflation to decline from December and I am hopeful that we will end the fiscal with 7%,” he said.
Despite monetary measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since March 2010, headline inflation has remained stubbornly close to the double-digit mark. It was 9.78% in August. Moreover, Mr Mukherjee added, the tight monetary policy followed by the RBI has also impacted growth during the current fiscal. The economy recorded a growth rate of 7.7% in the first quarter (April-June 2011-12), the lowest in 18 months. In a bid to contain inflation, the RBI has raised key policy rates 12 times since March 2010.