“Surprised” at former FM’s statement on letter on audit of PPP projects, ex-CAG tells Governance Now
Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | September 17, 2014
Former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India Vinod Rai has denied writing any letter to former finance minister P Chidambaram on audit of public-private partnership (PPP) projects coming under the CAG’s purview.
In a statement issued on Tuesday (September 16), Chidambaram said, "I have read some interviews given by Vinod Rai where he has remarked that letters written by him to Dr Manmohan Singh, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and me on the subject of audit of PPP projects did not receive any response…. (But) I do not recall any letter addressed to me by the CAG on the subject. I have since confirmed that no letter was addressed to me.”
But Rai today told Governance Now: “I don’t think I have said anywhere that I have written to Mr Chidambaram. I was surprised when I saw the statement [of Chidambaram] today. In September 2009, we made a presentation to Mr Pranab Mukherjee (then finance minister) on the fact that our Audit Act is of 1971. There was no such thing as PPP or the 73rd or 74th amendment.”
He said the panchayati raj institutions “came much later”, while the special societies for NRHM were “non-existent”. “So he [Pranab Mukherjee] immediately said we should write to him and suggest the amends that we need to make. In November 2009, I wrote to him [Mukherjee] on the amendments [for the Audit Act]. In fact, we did not suggest amends but a repealing of the [Audit] Act. They got back to us suggesting that [the repealing] would be a long-drawn process [and asked us] to suggest some amends.
“In 2010, we suggested that, too. So it [the issue of PPP audit] is part of that. I don’t recall personally writing to Mr Chidambaram. He [Chidambaram] says he has verified, and I was looking for what statement of mine Mr Chidambaram has referred to. Yes, I have written to Mr Mukherjee originally for the repealing, and then amendments. If a reminder has gone to him [Chidambaram], then I do not know.”
Rai’s book Not Just An Accountant, which reveals purported scams and financial transgressions during his innings as the 11th CAG from 2008 till his retirement in May 2013, has ruffled many a feather in the Congress. The book will be launched today.
The exclusive interview with Rai will appear in the October 1-15 issue of Governance Now.
Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they
Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude
While the entire nation is agog with political grapevine, political parties are weighing on all options to lure voters by touching upon issues that impact their lives. Several parties, including the BJP and the Congress have released their manifestos while many are about to join the bandwagon. The
Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to inappropriate poll campaigning. Fielded against BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency, Ma
Dressed in white shirt and pants, three time Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) corporator Manoj Kotak is now contesting from Mumbai north-east constituency. Kotak, representing BJP in the BMC, is ready to rally around Ward 125 in Ghatkopar east area. It’s about 7:30 pm on a hot April e
Sunil Bhatt, a Gujarat-based professional, has completed what is possibly the first PhD thesis on prime minister Narendra Modi. The thesis, titled ‘Leadership, Governance and Development: A case study of Shri Narendra Modi’, has been accepted at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat Universit