Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today backed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the context of reports on various scams, saying the government auditor has not exceeded his jurisdiction.
"I am making it clear that I do not think that CAG is exceeding its jurisdiction or things like that, because basic responsibility of the CAG is to identify, if there is any, lapse," he said during a question-answer session at the Economic Editors conference in Delhi.
The statement is significant in view of the attacks from some quarters in the government criticising the CAG for exceeding its mandate. CAG's reports on 2G spectrum allocation and Commonwealth Games had evoked sharp reaction from the government functionaries.
"So far as the role of the CAG is concerned, it is a constitutional role. As far as my knowledge about the functioning of the CAG is concerned, the job of CAG is only to find out financial irregularities…in context of rules,laws and regulations as laid down by the government," Mukherjee said.
He further said, "If out of 100, in 98 cases government has done the correct things, they will ignore it. They just pick up only those two things where some irregularities have taken place".
However, he added that it is for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to examine whether the "actual losses has taken place or whether it is a notional loss".
A CAG report, Mukherjee said, "is not automatically accepted by Parliament. PAC examines it; they submit a report; and then if the report is accepted by Parliament, action takes place."