The news agency PTI on Sunday said that it stood by its report quoting Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office V. Narayanasamy as having said that converting the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into a multimember body was under consideration of the government, notwithstanding his subsequent denial.
In the course of an interview with PTI, Mr. Narayanasamy was asked about the recommendation made by the former CAG, V.K. Shunglu, that the CAG should be made multi-member body.
He replied, “It [Shunglu panel’s suggestion to make CAG a multimember body] is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it.” The Minister subsequently appeared to backtrack and told television channels that he was “misquoted.” He told the channels that he had told the PTI reporter that six reports of the Shunglu Committee were under government consideration.
“He [PTI reporter] did not specifically ask me about the CAG. I did not specifically reply to him about the CAG which he misquoted me saying that the government is considering making the CAG a multimember body. I did not say that,” the Minister claimed on Sunday.
Following are the excerpts of the PTI interview which was tape-recorded:
Question: Other than submitting six reports, they have written a letter to the Prime Minister in which he (Shunglu) has talked about changes in CAG that it should to be made multimember body instead of being one (member)...The recommendation is somewhere in the PMO.
Answer: No, no. It is under active consideration.
Q: Do you mean to say that government is considering...
A: (The minister interjected to say) Actively considering.
Q: So the CAG would be made a three-member body?
A: When a decision is taken, I will let you know. Both the things (CAG and detaching Chief Technical Examination wing of CVC) are under the consideration of the government. All the reports and separate recommendations that have been given for the statutory modifications of the bodies of the government of India are under the consideration of the government.