Narayanasamy says multi-member CAG possible, then denies it
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The government is considering a proposal to make Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into a multi-member body, a move that came under sharp criticism from the Opposition and the civil society.
"It (Shunglu panel's suggestion to make changes in CAG) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it," Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy told PTI in an interview.
The Minister was replying to a question about a suggestion by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu that CAG be made a multi-member body.
The Minister sought to retract his comments on making CAG a multi-member body but PTI stands by its story.
He also said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has become "more impatient" and he wants all constitutional bodies to work within their parameters.
Shunglu had suggested that a three-member body would obtain greater transparency in operation. One member should possess professional accounting qualifications, chartered accountant or its equivalent.
Reacting to Narayanasamy's remarks, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the proposal as a "very bad idea" and also "unconstitutional". Making a distinction between Election Commission and CAG, he said the official auditor cannot be treated like a commission and cannot be made a multi-member body. "It's a very, very bad idea. And I agree it is in order to muzzle the present incumbent and weaken the institution."
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said, "Vinod Rai (CAG) became much independent. Government is trying to clip his wings. Government made Election Commission a multi-member body to dilute the authority of T N Seshan (the then CEC). The government should not implement Shunglu Committee report."
Civil society activist Kiran Bedi said, "I think it is government versus embarrassment which it has faced because of the remarkable work done by the CAG so far."
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