There has been an "unconscionable and unwarranted delay" on the part of national auditor CAG or the Comptroller and Auditor General in bringing out audit reports on the 2016 demonetisation and the Rafale deal, a group of 60 retired bureaucrats and diplomats have said in a letter to the President. In the open letter copied to President Ram Nath Kovind, they noted that an "impression is gaining ground that the CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government".
The letter said the auditor's reports on the 2G scam, coal scam, Adarsh and Commonwealth scandals - which had influenced public perception about the then government's actions - had drawn appreciation from various quarters.
"The CAG's failure to present the audit reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal in time may be seen as a partisan action and may create a crisis of credibility for this important institution. Due to the cacophony of claims and counterclaims, accusations and mudslinging in the media and elsewhere, the citizens do not know what the reality is. We believe that citizens have a right to insist upon the timely submission of audit reports by the CAG so that they can make an informed choice while voting," the letter said.
While the Rafale deal was signed in April 2015, the demonetisation was announced in November 2016. The auditor hadn't come out with reports on either so far.
The retired officials urged the auditor to complete the reports in time for them to be taken up in the winter session of parliament.
The former top bureaucrats pointed out that the CAG had been "criticised for nitpicking" and "audit overreach" in the past. "But there was never any occasion to accuse the CAG of being influenced by the Government or having to remind it about the timely performance of its constitutional duties."
The signatories to the letter include SP Ambrose, N Bala Baskar, NC Saxena, G Balachandhran, Gopalan Balagopal and Jawhar Sircar.
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