Indicating that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) will be permitted to look into the books of public-private partnership (PPP) projects, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday underscored the need to ensure transparency in these infrastructure schemes.

“CAG will play a leading role in ensuring that these new initiatives (PPP) deliver as intended,” the Prime Minister said at a function to mark the 150 years of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

“There is a need to improve the structure of private-public partnership arrangements to ensure that they are transparent, ensure competitiveness, and adequately safeguard public interest”, Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came at the same function where CAG Vinod Rai sought permission to audit the books of PPP as huge amount of public money was going into these projects.

The role of the CAG is confined to auditing government institutions and public sector enterprises.

The Prime Minister said the Centre and many State governments have used PPP route successfully for impressive investments in infrastructure projects.

The infrastructure development has been facing a resource crunch after the government role in this core sector shrunk in the post-reform era.

Since then the Centre has encouraged the PPP model to develop infrastructure, which has long gestation period.

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