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Sinha suggests CAG audit on Rafale

Sinha suggests CAG audit on Rafale
Yashwant-Sinha
BENGALURU/NEW DELHI, AUG 29 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/29/2018 12:34:04 PM IST

 Former union minister Yashwant Sinha today said instead of a joint parliamentary committee being constituted, CAG should conduct forensic audit to bring out the “criminal negligence or intent” in the Rafale deal.

“I had suggested that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) should do a forensic audit, to bring out the criminal negligence or intent (of the central government). I am emphasizing this point because Congress wants joint parliamentary committee.

At this stage such a committee is neither here nor there,” he told reporters here. A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firm’s or individual’s financial information for use as evidence in court. It can be conducted in order to prosecute a party for fraud, embezzlement or other financial claims.

Giving reasons against forming JPC, Sinha said it would not serve its purpose of bringing out the “wrongs” in Rafale deal because of paucity of time.

“The next parliament session will be held in November and JPC has to be approved by both Houses. The resolution can be passed only in November and after that the Lok Sabha’s life will be a few months. So, it would not be able to finish its task,” he said.

Sinha alleged there was a huge scam in the deal running into Rs 1,000 crore and hence the government is reluctant to reveal anything on this front.

Sinha, a critic of the NDA government, alleged that the BJP government reduced ‘Make In India’ slogan into a mere slogan by not giving ‘offset obligation’ to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Cong charges complete falsehood: Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday termed the Congress allegations on the Rafale deal as “complete falsehood” and said the basic aircraft price at which the fighter jets had been bought was 9 per cent cheaper than that negotiated by the UPA government.

In a blogpost, Jaitley accused the Congress of seriously compromising national security by delaying the Rafale deal by over a decade and alleged that it was raising issues to “further delay defence procurement so that India’s defence preparedness further suffers”.

He said the Congress had launched a “false campaign” that the Modi government had paid a higher price for the fighter jets, an industrialist had been favoured and the interests of the public sector were compromised. 

“Each one of the above issues is based on complete falsehood. It is expected from national political parties and its responsible leaders to keep themselves informed of the basic facts before they enter a public discourse on defence transactions,” Jaitley said.

“Every fact that Gandhi and the Congress has spoken on pricing and procedure are completely false,” he said.

Why govt scared of JPC: Congress

The Congress on Wednesday kept up its attack on the Rafale deal, alleging that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was trying to cover up a “scandal with scandal” and asked why the government was “scared” for a JPC probe.

Party President Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jailtey in a tweet while Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari posed queries on the deal at the party’s regular briefing here. 

The opposition party’s attack came hours after Jaitley, in a blogpost, termed the Congress charges on the Rafale deal “complete falsehood.” 

Hitting back, Gandhi said that the government should then accept a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe. 

“Mr Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the Great Rafale Robbery! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to sort it out?” Problem is, your supreme leader is protecting his friend. So this may be inconvenient. Do check and revert in 24 hours. We’re waiting!” Gandhi said. 

Jaitley too had asked Gandhi and his party to “respond immediately” to the questions raised by him. 

Tewari said that a joint statement by India and France completely demolished the “very feeble defence” sought to be put by the Minister. 

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