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Jaitley asks CAG not to sensationalise its report

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today asked the CAG not to sensationalise its findings to get into headlines, a view the Congress party had voiced in the past after huge notional losses were projected in reports on 2G and coal allocation scams.

“Auditor should be conscious of the fact that he is reviewing a decision that has already been taken. Have the fair procedures been followed?

“He doesn’t have to sensationalise. He doesn’t have to get into the headlines,” Jaitley said at annual conference of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

He said an auditor has to be “an active auditor but activism and restraint are always the two sides of the same coin”.

The CAG reports on 2G telecom spectrum allocation and coal mine allotment, which carried figures of notional losses to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore and Rs.1.84 lakh crore respectively had caused tremendous discomfort for the UPA government and the Congress party that headed the coalition. They had also come in handy for the Opposition then.

“He (Auditor) has to scrutinise thoroughly the decision making process. He has to necessarily eliminate the possibility of any form of nepotism…,” Jaitley said.

On Monday, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee Chairman and senior Congress leader K V Thomas too had said in the conference that the auditor should restrict audits to financial impropriety and not come out with “astronomical” figures of notional losses.


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