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CAG report tabled amid commotion
New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS): 3.
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Published on 17 Nov. 2010 12:04 AM IST
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Parliament’s proceedings were repeatedly disrupted Tuesday as opposition MPs continued to demand a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam but the government hurriedly managed to table the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in both houses despite the commotion.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned for the day. With Wednesday being a holiday because of Eid-al-Azha, parliament will resume Thursday.
The trouble began as soon as the Lok Sabha met with MPs from the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Left parties shouting slogans of “We want justice” and “Order JPC probe into spectrum scam”.
Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house till 12 noon.
But the protests continued when the house reassembled. Girija Vyas, who was presiding at the time, rushed through some official business, including the tabling of the CAG report on the 2G spectrum scam. When the din continued, she adjourned the house till Thursday.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha. As opposition members disrupted proceedings and demanded the setting up of a JPC, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan adjourned the house till 12 noon. Later, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m.
Finally, the upper house was adjourned for the day at 2 p.m. as the opposition continued its vociferous protests. Amid the noisy scenes, the chair rushed through some official business, including the tabling of the CAG report.
The government had hoped that the resignation of A. Raja as communications and IT minister would cool the situation. But the opposition has refused to relent and is sticking to its demand for a JPC probe.
Govt committed to strengthening CAG

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday his government was committed to strengthening the institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the country’s top audit body, in order to improve transparency and accountability.
“Let me take this opportunity to re-affirm our government’s commitment to strengthen the institution of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, as part of our broader efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the work of our government,” Manmohan Singh said addressing 150th anniversary of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
Emphasising the need for accurate and balanced report by the country’s top audit institution, the prime minister said CAG reports were taken “very seriously” by the government, parliament, media and the public at large.
“This casts a huge responsibility on the institution to ensure that its reports are accurate, balanced and fair. Very often, there is a very thin line between fair criticism and fault finding, between hazarding a guess and making a reasonable estimate, between a bonafide genuine error and a deliberate mistake,” he said.
The CAG report on the 2G spectrum allocation controversy, which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday, has held A. Raja, who was telecom minister until Sunday, responsible for over Rs.1,70,000 crore loss to the exchequer because of irregularities in allocation of 2G spectrum licences.
Terming the audit institution an important watchdog of democracy, Singh said, “It falls upon this institution to sift the wheat from the chaff, to distinguish between wrong-doing and genuine errors, to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making processes.”
“This requires a very high degree of professional skill and competence. The institution of Comptroller and Auditor General has acquitted itself very credibly in the past 150 years. However, times are changing and so are our needs. The institution will have, therefore, to further enhance its capabilities and its skills and re-orient itself to deliver results that our nation expects,” he added.
The prime minister said the government was taking measures to ensure quick and timely action on CAG reports.
“I am aware of the concerns regarding the inadequate and delayed response to the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The ministry of finance has taken a number of initiatives which I hope will lead to an improvement in this area,” Singh said.

 
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