New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General officials on Thursday said there will be no CAG report on demonetisation since “CAG does not audit the Reserve Bank of India or public sector banks.” The officials said the CAG decided to keep hands off demonetisation because all steps — right from the decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes to printing of new currency — were taken by the RBI and the CAG has never been allowed to audit the RBI or public sector banks.
The clarification came in response to an open letter by 60 retired bureaucrats and diplomats questioning the “unconscionable and unwarranted delay” in preparing audit reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. They group had alleged a go-slow by the CAG until the general elections, “so as not to embarrass the present government.”
The officials referred to an interview by former CAG, Shashi Kant Sharma, that the CAG was within its rights to seek audit of the fiscal impact of demonetisation, specially its impact on tax revenues. As regards the CAG audit of the Rafale deal, it is officials claimed almost three-fourths of the audit is done and the CAG will be sending its report to President for tabling it in Parliament before the end of the winter session on Jan 8.
If delayed, because of the formalities, the report will be out in any case before the end of the financial year on March 31, they said. Before finalising the audit report, the CAG has to call an exit conference to allow the defence ministry to offer its final arguments and provide supportive documents.After the exit conference, it takes at least a month for translation and printing of the report before it is sent to the President, the officials added.