'Transparency, accountability here to stay; you can no longer take decisions with brazenness'

For those curious about former CAG VINOD RAI's post-retirement plans, the news is that he has hit the international speakers' circuit. He has enrolled with the London Speakers Bureau, has just delivered a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School (of which he is an alumnus) and is shortly scheduled to speak at the World Economic Forum. Other guest lecture engagements have been fixed at conferences of the International and Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.

"I am a civil servant and not an auditor by profession, and so I am mostly speaking on subjects like good governance and accountability. I am taking maybe two or three speaking assignments a month and this keeps me energised," he says. Besides this, he plays a daily game of tennis at the Gymkhana Club and is getting used to life as a private citizen. Excerpts from an interview with Ritu Sarin:

With the CAG reports on 2G spectrum and coal, and the actions of the CBI, including the latest FIR in the Hindalco case, the industry and the bureaucracy are running scared. Did you anticipate such a reaction?

There is no smoke without fire, otherwise why do you think we (the CAG and CBI) would jump into such issues? These subjects fall in the category of irregularities and inappropriateness. And the CAG doesn't look at the economy with an audit microscope, it looks at actions and implementation. The CBI looks at criminality.

What about the impact on investor sentiment?

The investor is not ignorant of what is happening on the ground. It is not as if he not aware of what is happening or how opaque things are. Crony capitalism is not something created by the CAG. People are able to see what is happening and they don't have to wait for the CAG or the CBI to know that such issues exist. These things are already in the public domain and a lot was known, for instance, about the spectrum case before the CAG got into it. There are many, let us say, whispers in the corridors too.

... contd.

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