Saturday, August 25, 2012

Utility OF CAG, Fuctions of Parliament and Role of Ruling Party

Imputing motives to CAG reports to hurt accountability, good governance, says Vinod Rai

NEW DELHI: Imputing motives to audit reports of CAG would hinder accountability and good governance, CAGVinod Rai has said. "Ascribing political motive to the institution and its officers would only be detrimental to its task of promoting accountability and good governance," he said CPI mouthpiece Janayugam in an interview.
"Several times our findings and judgment have been questioned - it happened in the Bofors case in the 1980s, in the audit of disinvestment in 1990s, in the coffin case in 2002, and in the spectrum case recently. Every time we were proven right. All these years, we have maintained our objectivity, impartiality and professional competence," he claimed in the interview.
He favoured open competition in both government procurement and allocation of resources to achieve value in these transactions. "Existing rules and regulations and processes do not adequately provide requisite transparency. Fair and open competition is the best and most transparent way of achieving value for money in large procurements and also in cases of allocation or lease of public assets or natural resources," he added.
In the 150 year history of the CAG, he says, it has upheld standards and is looked up to for its international levels of competence. "CAG has a critical role to play in ensuring transparency and good governance in the country," he said. The 1,86,000 crore losses to the exchequer because of allocation of coal blocks to private firms and power companies was "a most conservative estimate," Rai reiterated.

Rai said that the "figures in the report were logical and irrefutable. The computations have been made on the basis of sound and reasonable assumptions. "We have taken the most conservative alternative in arriving at the financial impact of allocation of coal blocks through the present system."
He said he was confident of upholding the credibility of the audit report.

Learned and clever Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambram says that since coal is not mined from allotted coal mines, government has incurred no loss. If it is so, then why the government hesitates and delays in cancelling of all licenses issued for coal mining and start the process of auction and help in resumption of Parliamentary proceedings.

If ruling party willingly avoids cancellation of licenses issued in improper and questionable manner, it proves the malicious intention of the government behind continuance of improper process carried out in allocation of mines. Further it is more startling and astonishing that the same government has decided to stop issuance of further licenses for coal mining till revised coal policy is framed.

Obviously there is clear cut inconsistency and dishonesty in the approach of the current central government.

Members of Parliament and the media men who are extending their moral support to learned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and who are relentlessly blaming BJP and NDA parties for creating disruption in Parliament proceedings should now blame Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram and UPA government who are bent upon sticking to their improper acts, who are not ready to shed their ego and who are delaying cancellation of licenses undoubtedly due to their vested interest. If they think that no loss has occurred and no company has benefitted from coal licenses issued, they must cancel all licenses immediately and allow the Parliament to function in normal way.

In the recent past the great advocate and Minister Kapil Sibal had propagated NO LOSS theory in scam related to issuance of licenses for 2G spectrums in the same way Mr. Chidambram is now pleading NO LOSS theory in licenses issued for mining of coal. Learned Supreme Court later cancelled several licenses issued for 2G spectrum and shut the mouth of great advocate Kapil Sibal. It appears, Mr. Chidambaram is also willfully and strategically pleading NO LOSS theory to perpetuate their corrupt and foul game despite strong public movement and strong protest from opposition parties. Perhaps the current central government needs another lesson form apex Court..

Politicians of ruling party further say that BJP led three state governments are equal partner in their corrupt game. But the million dollar question is whether Supreme Court will permit corruption if ruling party and opposition party commit any fraud with the system in partnership and will people of India tolerate such misuse of authority. 

If BJP is at fault why do they delay in penalizing BJP?

Are they in search of an opportunity to deal with and bargain with BJP to continue game of corruption with the partnership of BJP or NDA?

Unfortunately in all offices and departments it has become the practice  where Chief Executive Officer of the organization continue their corrupt practices in nexus with top leaders of top trade unions to avoid disturbance in Industrial relation. Protectors have now become the partner in corrupt game; this is the main tragedy of our country.

If a game of corruption is Okayed by majority of MPs, people of India have to bear with culture of corruption because they know judiciary is also ineffective. If in a bank, top ranked officers desire to sanction loan to unscrupulous corporate or to promote a corrupt officer, they seek green signal from leaders of trade union leaders and get success in their foul game.

Is it not misuse of majority rule or exploitation of democracy and disrespect to judiciary?

Audit and inspections are generally conducted for finding out the irregularities, fraud, and financial indiscipline to stop malpractices and probable losses. As soon as reports are submitted by auditors, it is the duty of the government to ensure complete compliance and rectification of irregularities pointed out by auditors.

Normally Audit reports are not meant for debate and discussion and it is only when some portions of audit reports are found to be improper, incorrect, unjustifiable, biased and not related to facts and figures, the competent authority above auditors call for a joint meeting for necessary change in report or removal of objectionable portion of such reports.

CAG is a constitutional body and it is the duty of CAG to reveal the irregularities prevalent in the system. During last few years, CAG has submitted several reports pointing out several irregularities committed by UPA government which resulted in loss to the government to the tune of thousands and lacs of crores of rupees.

If all such reports are not acceptable to UPA government and if all such reports are non sense and simply bakwas, they should immediately remove such CAG and dismantle the structure of this constitutional body.

If Binod Roy the present CAG is mad and insane he should be removed or otherwise the PM, FM and the government should surrender and desist from using humiliating words for CAG. They should categorically say that what they are doing is always right and there is no need to have audit from CAG. In this way they can save hundreds of crores of rupees spent by Indian government in establishment of CAG and in carrying out audit and inspection and then in preparing bulky report.

Further if such CAG is removed, they may stop disruption in Parliament and continue with their work of legislation in Parliament.

Last but not the least ruling party UPA should immediately stop blaming opposition parties for disruption in Parliamentary proceedings and own their responsibility of proper function of not only Parliament but also other constitutional bodies as CAG. If BJP run state governments are at wrong footing, BJP must be penalized without any loss of time. After all it is the country and the people of India which are supreme, not the political parties.

Perhaps it is the culture of Congress Party to blame BJP and RSS for all their faults, to use secular card to get rid of public movement started against corruption or price rise or terrorism. If the same CAG submits a report against BJP government, there is no doubt that the same Congress Party will leave no stone upturned to take BJP to task. When BJP is accused by CAG, then only I think Congress Party will talk of respect to Constitutional Body.

Congress Party must discard their double speaking culture and stop pointing out their accusing fingers always toward s BJP and RSS for their mistakes, failures, scams and for their acts of omission and commission.

Rather Congress Party with a broader outlook should develop a habit and culture of treating all criminals and all evil doers on the same footing and with the same stick without any discrimination based on their linkages with ruling or opposing parties.

It is worthwhile to mention here that if all MPs (ruling and opposition parties) come together and unanimously decide to increase their salaries, allowances and perquisites, the impact to this vast country is insignificant.
But if all MPs after receiving five crores rupees as bribe  or after hundred crore rupees as political fund decide to allot costly mines worth thousands of crores of rupees to corporate houses free or at negligible cost, the loss to the country will be enormous , voluminous, recurring and dangerous too.

Suppose a corporate house pays Rs.five crore in cash or in kind to each and every Members of parliament and in lieu of that government by majority sanction allotment of 1000 acres of land worth one thousand crores of rupees to a corporate house at cost of say five crore rupees only. No one will be left to protest such dangerous decision taken by majority vote of Parliament. If team like Team Anna or TEAM Ramdeo protest from outside the Parliament t , they will be accused of showing disrespect to Parliament and temples of democracy.

Suppose a company pays five crore rupees to each member of Board of the bank and each members of Credit Approval Committee and in return the  board of directors and Credit approval Committee of the bank approves loan of Rs.5000 crores and after a year or two the company becomes defaulter and the loan goes bad. In such position who will be held responsible and who will be punished if the decision of the board and CAC was not a prudent business decision but decision taken was ill-motivated.

Similarly if each member of a board is paid a bribe of one crore rupees and the board in turn decide to write off loan of Rs. Say 1000 crores to a business house. Loss to the bank will be irreparable because the decision was a joint decision taken in a democracy way.

Majority decisions are not always good and acceptable. Bitter truth is that majority more often than not cause much loss than situation where corrupt person is having minority of person backing .

It is therefore necessary to judge the actual loss caused by allotment of coal mines license in the eye of CAG report even if the decision was taken by UPA singly or jointly with BJP

What is CAG and Their Scope of Duty

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India (Hindi: भारत के नियंत्रक-महालेखापरीक्षक) is an authority, established by the Constitution of India under Chapter V, who audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government. The CAG is also the external auditor of government-owned companies. The reports of the CAG are taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees, which are special committees in the Parliament of India and the state legislatures . The CAG of India is also the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, which has over 58,000 employees across the country.
The current CAG of India is Vinod Rai, who was appointed on 7 January 2008. He is the 11th CAG of India. The estimation of spectrum allocation and coal mining were the recent reports presented to Loksabha.
The Constitution of India [Article 148] provides for an independent office to the CAG of India. He/she is the head of Indian Audit and Accounts Department. His/her duty is to uphold the constitution of India and laws of the Parliament in the field of financial administration.
Scope of Audit :-----------Audit of government accounts (including the accounts of the state governments) in India is entrusted to the CAG of India who is empowered to audit all expenditure from the revenues of the union or state governments, whether incurred within India or outside. Specifically, audits include:
§  Transactions relating to debtdepositsremittancesTrading, and manufacturing
§  Profit and loss accounts and balance sheets kept under the order of the President or Governors
§  Receipts and stock accounts.CAG also audits the books of accounts of the government companies as per companies act.
 संसाधनों पर है आम लोगों का हक ( Collected from 'Prabhat Khabar') 

।।एमजे अकबर।।
(एडिटोरियल डायरेक्टर, इंडिया टुडे)
मनमोहन सिंह और सोनिया गांधी के नेतृत्व वाली सरकार ने गवर्नेस की अपनी संहिता बना ली है- आप उपजाऊ कोख को भारी छूट के साथ तब तक बेच सकते हैं, जब तक बच्च गर्भ के अंदर हो. यह उपमा आम बोलचाल के इस मुहावरे की संगति में है- कोयला जैसे हमारे प्राकृतिक संसाधन प्रकृति माता की देन हैं.
सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने भी अपने फैसले में प्राकृतिक संसाधनों को राष्ट्रीय संसाधन करार दिया था. यह जनता की संपत्ति है. सरकार सिर्फ इसकी अस्थायी केयरटेकर है. सरकार का कर्तव्य है कि प्राकृतिक संसाधनों के आर्थिक दोहन का अधिक से अधिक फायदा लोगों को हो. कैग यानी नियंत्रक और महालेखा परीक्षक, देश की प्रमुख ऑडिट करने वाली संस्था है. कैग के पद पर बैठे विनोद राय का कॅरियर शानदार रहा है. पी चिदंबरम के वित्त मंत्री रहते हुए वे वित्त सचिव के पद तक पहुंचे थे. मनमोहन सिंह ने उनकी योग्यता और ईमानदारी को देखते हुए उनका नाम कैग के लिए प्रस्तावित किया. उन्होंने 7 जनवरी 2008 को कार्यभार संभाला.
राय ने मॉनसून सत्र के दौरान कोयला खदान संबंधी एक रिपोर्ट संसद को सौंपी और जोर देकर कहा कि प्रतिस्पद्र्धी नीलामी की प्रक्रिया में देरी ने कोल ब्लॉक आवंटन की मौजूदा प्रक्रिया को निजी कंपनियों को फायदा पहुंचाने वाला बना दिया है. रिपोर्ट में आकलन किया गया है कि इससे निजी कंपनियों को लगभग 1.86 लाख करोड़ का संभावित फायदा हो सकता है. रिपोर्ट की भाषा काफी सरल है. कोयला खदानों के आवंटन के दौरान अधिकांश समय तक कोयला मंत्रालय प्रधानमंत्री के पास था. काफी सोच-विचार के बाद सरकार ने जवाब में कहा कि चूंकि अभी तक इन खदानों से कोयले की खुदाई नहीं हुई है, ऐसे में कंपनियों को कोई लाभ नहीं हुआ है, इसलिए कैग की रिपोर्ट आधारहीन है. यह तर्क सही हो सकता है अगर सरकार साथ में सभी आवंटनों को रद्द करने की घोषणा करती और कहती कि कंपनियों का पैसा वापस कर नीलामी की प्रक्रिया शुरू की जा रही है.
यह बहुत आसान है, क्योंकि खुद सरकार के बयान के मुताबिक खुदाई शुरू नहीं हुई है और निजी क्षेत्र ने खदान खरीदने के बाद कोई निवेश नहीं किया है. ऐसे में उचित मुआवजा ही वास्तविक मूल्य होना चाहिए. वित्त मंत्री पी चिदंबरम के कोई लाभ नहीं होने के दावे को सच ठहराने का यही एकमात्र तरीका है. इस व्यवस्था से निजी कंपनियों को भी कोई शिकायत नहीं होनी चाहिए. कैग रिपोर्ट खुद इस बात की ताकीद करता है कि 1.86 लाख करोड़(37 अरब डॉलर) का आंकड़ा कंपनियों को हो सकने वाला ‘संभावित लाभ’ है. आवंटन को रद्द करना अनचाहे लाभ कमाने की प्रवृति के खिलाफ सुरक्षा प्रदान कर सकता है.
यूपीए का दूसरा तर्क यह है कि कुछ भाजपा शासित राज्यों ने भी नीलामी की जगह आवंटन प्रक्रिया की वकालत की थी. इससे क्या होता है? उनके द्वारा आवंटित कोल ब्लॉक को भी रद्द किया जाना चाहिए. लगभग 37 अरब डॉलर से माओवाद प्रभावित जिलों के बच्चों के लिए काफी भोजन खरीदा जा सकता है. अगर इसमें भ्रष्टाचार और अक्षमता के कारण होने वाले नुकसान को भी घटा दिया जाए, तो भी मां और बच्चों के स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं के लिए काफी पैसा बच जायेगा. लेकिन मुख्य बात कैग रिपोर्ट के शुरुआती वाक्य में ही लिखी हुई है. सरकार को नुकसान प्रतिस्पद्र्धी नीलामी की प्रक्रिया में हुई देरी से हुआ है. एक व्यवस्था मौजूद थी, जिसका प्रयोग सत्ता में आने वाले सभी दलों ने किया.
2004 में यूपीए के सत्ता में आने के बाद प्रधानमंत्री की ईमानदार छवि से उत्साहित कोयला सचिव पीसी पारेख ने तर्कसंगत आधार पर नीलामी प्रक्रिया अपनाने की सिफारिश की, ताकि पक्षपात कम हो और सरकार को अधिक राजस्व प्राप्त हो सके. सभी उचित पक्षों की बैठक के बाद यह तर्क उभर कर सामने आया. कोई भी इस बात की कल्पना कर सकता है कि कैबिनेट इस सुझाव का स्वागत करेगी. इसके बदले प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय के अधिकारियों ने इस विचार के खिलाफ बाधा खड़ी कर दी. प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय ने 11 सितंबर 2004 को एक नोट जारी कर इस बात पर जोर दिया कि प्रतिस्पद्र्धी नीलामी प्रक्रिया में कुछ खामियां हैं.
प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय ने एक नबंवर 2004 को कोल माइंस नेशनलाइजेशन एक्ट-1973 में किसी प्रकार के संशोधन का विरोध किया. क्यों? इसका कोई उचित जबाव नहीं है. केवल यही बातें नहीं है. अगर उस समय नीलामी गलत थी तो अचनाक 57 कोल ब्लॉक आवंटन के बाद यह नीति कैसे सही हो गयी? आवंटित ब्लॉक की सूची में कई प्रसिद्ध और अपरिचित नाम शामिल हैं. माइंस एंड मिनरल्स बिल्स ने नीलामी प्रक्रिया को शामिल किया है. यह 2011 में तैयार हुआ, लेकिन अभी तक इसे पारित नहीं किया जा सका है.
सच्चाई को गड्डमड्ड करने के लिए भटकाने की रणनीति एक सीमा तक ही कामयाब होती है. अपना संदेश लोगों तक पहुंचाने के लिए भाजपा द्वारा संसद बाधित करने की कोशिश कई लोगों के लिए बहस का मुख्य मुद्दा हो सकता है. लेकिन इस बहस का केंद्र संसद की जगह गलियों की चाय दुकान और चौपाल हो गया है. लोकतंत्र का सर्वश्रेष्ठ जज- वोटर इस बहस को सुन रहा है. उसका फैसला चुनाव के दिन आ जायेगा. प्रकृति की कोख पर आम लोगों का हक है.

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