Urges it to widen role beyond regular audit
The reputation of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is at an all-time high, thanks to the professionally challenging report on 2G spectrum allocation, said R. Rangachari, former Indian Audit and Accounts Services officer and former budget advisor to the International Monetary Fund, here on Friday.
Delivering a lecture on ‘The role of Comptroller and Auditor General of India,' organised by the Public Expenditure Round Table, Mr. Rangachari said, with this, the CAG should widen its role beyond regular audit.
Lack of transparency in accounts and budget was one of the areas that deserved the CAG's attention.
Many cases of understatement of expenditure were noticeable. Oil subsidies did not reflect the full annual subsidy payable by the government. Transparency of data was lacking in this regard, he said. The CAG, as auditor of oil marketing companies, was in a position to highlight the total liabilities on this account for government, he said.
Regulatory audit caught the attention of media and the public as many scandals in raising revenue and spending were highlighted.
The latest example was spectrum allocation, in which the audit had brought to light serious cases of fraud and embezzlement.
The other examples were the fodder scam in Bihar in 1996 and the Veeranam Project in Tamil Nadu in the 1970s, he said.
Public sector banks and insurance companies were outside the purview of CAG. This anomaly needed to be rectified.
Adequacy of CAG's powers in the context of widening its role had to be revisited, Mr. Rangachari added.