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Pranab defends CAG, says auditor acting within limits

Growth will fall

Dismissing the 'popular' perception about policy paralysis, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said a slew of reforms were on the anvil, but added the government could not go ahead speedily on those because of lack of adequate numbers in Parliament. I cannot do so because our numbers are 206 in the Lok Sabha and 76 in the Rajya Sabha," he said.

Black money probe On

The Finance Minister said the government has started investigations into transactions by Indians involving black money based on 9,900 pieces of information received from different parts of the world.

New Delhi, October 19
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday backed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the context of reports on various scams, saying the government auditor has not exceeded his jurisdiction.

"I am making it clear that I do not think that CAG is exceeding its jurisdiction or things like that, because basic responsibility of the CAG is to identify lapse, if there are any," he said during a question-answer session at the Economic Editors Conference here.

The statement is significant in view of the attacks from some quarters in the government criticising the CAG for exceeding its mandate. CAG's reports on 2G spectrum allocation and Commonwealth Games had evoked sharp reaction from government functionaries.

"As far as the role of the CAG is concerned, it is a constitutional role. As far as my knowledge about the functioning of the CAG is concerned, the job of CAG is only to find out financial irregularities in context of rules, laws and regulations as laid down by the government," Mukherjee said.

He added, "If in 98 cases, out of 100, the government has done the correct things, they will ignore it. They just pick up only those two things where some irregularities have taken place.

However, he added that it is for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to examine whether the "actual losses have taken place or whether it is a notional loss". PTI

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