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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011
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Letters to the Editor
The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) has taken the place of a trusted watchdog in today's changed economic scenario and proved its usefulness in the wake of the spate of scams (“Government cold to CAG's quest for new powers,” June 24).
However, it was disheartening to learn from the report that funds to the tune of Rs.80,000 crore are beyond the reach of the CAG's regular audits, opening the door to potential misuse. It is only when we read about such instances that the need to make it autonomous and empowered makes more sense.
The suggestions made by the CAG can be supported by examples in Canada and the U.S. Let us hope something is done in the forthcoming session of Parliament.
Despite all the handicaps and hostile attitude of the State and Central governments, the CAG is doing yeoman service. Its mind-boggling revelations of revenue loss in major sectors like construction, telecom and energy have highlighted the need to minimise the scope of corruption and pilferage of revenue to the exchequer.
In its recent report “ The Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flows from India — 1948-2008,” the Washington-based Global Financial Integrity says that 68 per cent of India's aggregate illicit capital loss occurred after India's economic reforms in 1991, a clear indication that deregulation and trade liberalisation are the primary reasons for the spurt in the illicit transfer of money abroad. Post-liberalisation models like public-private partnership (PPP), build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) and the special purpose vehicle all need to come under the CAG's scrutiny.
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