Sharma, who holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of York, will take charge as Comptroller & Auditor General on 23rd May
Defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was on Tuesday appointed as the next Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) at a time when the institution is under focus in the wake of controversies surrounding its mandate.
The 61-year-old 1976 Bihar cadre officer will succeed Vinod Rai, during whose tenure the CAG was locked in confrontations with government on various audit reports, like the ones on 2G spectrum and coal block allocations.
Rai superannuates on Wednesday after five-and-a half years of eventful tenure as the head of the Constitutional body.
“The President of India has appointed Shashi Kant Sharma, IAS, as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, in terms of Article 148 (1) of the Constitution of India,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
Sharma, who holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of York, will take charge as Comptroller & Auditor General on 23rd May.
He will be administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.
Like Vinod Rai, Sharma too has served as secretary in the Department of Financial Services. He has spent over 10 years in the defence ministry in various capacities.
The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Sharma's appointment comes at a time when the CAG has come under sharp attack from the government and ruling party for its reports on assessment of Rs1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum.
Under Rai's tenure, the CAG was accused of going beyond its auditing ambit and indulging in analysing policy decisions.
Rai, however had hit back saying the government just wanted the CAG to be an accountant.
After failing to pay the last instalment of the franchisee fee, Sahara India decided to pull out from the IPL T20 league
Sahara India, the owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee has withdrawn its team after failing to pay final instalment of franchisee fee. In a release, Sahara also said that it would end its sponsorship to Indian cricket team from December 2013.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the controlling body, said it would encash the bank guarantee given by Sahara for its franchisee Pune Warriors.
Sahara had bought the Pune franchisee for Rs1,700 crore to be paid in 10 years.
Pune Warriors have finished eighth in the nine team IPL this year.
Separately, the Supreme Court today slammed the BCCI saying that spot fixing incidents had taken place due to the cricketing body’s lackadaisical approach in reining in the erring players. The court also directed a one-man commission that is probing spot fixing in the IPL to submit its report within 15 days and asked the BCCI to act upon its findings according to its rules.
Earlier, the apex court agreed to give urgent hearing to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking stay on all remaining matches in the T20 league.
Estimating how much you need for retirement is hard enough. But even if you are able to do that, getting there is a tough task. In the second part on the series of retirement planning, Debashis Basu, editor Moneylife, focussed on the right way to invest
There is a maze of retirement products available in the market promising a secure retirement, but most of these products do not deliver, leave alone creating a sufficient corpus for retirement. In the second part of Moneylife Foundation’s two-part seminar on retirement planning, Debashis Basu, editor Moneylife, focused on how one can save efficiently to avoid the risk of underinvestment. Along with this, what steps one could take to protect his/her corpus post-retirement and if there is a shortfall what are the different options available were also explained.
“Retirement planning is very complicated because there are too many variables, many of which need to be assumed”, cautioned Mr Basu. There are too many unknowns before retirement, as well as post-retirement. Many are unaware of how much their expenses would rise after retiring. Once you have accumulated your corpus, where would you invest it? There are several other questions one needs to address while planning for retirement. One has to separate the set of factors that one can control and those that one can’t. One can control how much one saves and invests.
Even if you seek professional help, when investing for retirement you must understand the difference between quality advice and a sales pitch. Most of the unscrupulous relationship advisers and so-called wealth managers are often looking to build their own retirement corpus. “The least you can do is invest in products that grow to beat inflation” explained Mr Basu. For investing safely, one needs to understand the different products available and the risk & return associated. One of the benefits of starting early is that you can make the power of compounding work for your benefit.
Lack of a well-planned savings plan can leave you with much less money to spend on yourself when you have no income. The basic purpose of investing for any goal and especially retirement is to be able to beat inflation. Stocks and equity funds over the long run of 5-10 years have more often than not beaten inflation. Other products like bank fixed deposits and other fixed income products may not deliver high returns but offer safety of capital.
The main factor that determines how you should go about saving for your retirement is your age. Mr Basu explained how over different age groups from 21 to 60 one can invest in a mix of products, taking into account the number of years to retirement.
“One needs to use the same judgement for investments pre-and post-retirement”, said Mr Basu. Post-retirement one’s main focus is to protect the corpus. Here people have the option of immediate annuities, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) and MIP schemes, but none of these are great choices, said Mr Basu. In the post-retirement period, it is important to choose safe assets, for which bank fixed deposits are the best. However, the main issue here is, one does not know the future returns and how long one would live. Investing in fixed income products for the very long term may turn out to be imprudent because they don’t beat inflation. Retirees may like to invest some amount of money in equity mutual funds.
Since a lot of savers today have large home loans, they may end up saving less for retirement. They will have the bulk of their investment in real estate. Mr Basu said, “Reverse mortgage is an option for them, but it has failed as a product in India and may pick up in near future”
The session was followed by an engaging Q&A session which addressed topics such as investing in property, NPS as a retirement product and whether equity mutual funds are the best way to create long-term retirement corpus.