Keeping up the pressure on the government on the Rafale issue, the Congress on Thursday said the CAG report on the aircraft deal with France was “useless”, as the CAG, as an institution, has allowed itself to become a “joke” and “meekly submitted” to the government’s demand to present a report that contains no useful information or analysis.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the CAG should have protested and taken a stand that he will not submit the report when the government asked him to redact the commercial details.
He said, “He is an auditor, he must have numbers to audit. It is like a company saying, I wouldn’t disclose my annual sales, annual raw material cost, my annual salary requirements, I wouldn’t disclose to you anything, (but) please audit my accounts. What is the auditor auditing?”
The senior Congress leader said, “When he writes to the government, saying sorry we have no precedent for this, we can’t redact commercial details, the government replies the very next day. The auditor writes on the February 5, the government replies on February 6, and auditor meekly submits to it. Why doesn’t he protest and why did he submit his report?”
Asked whether there is any provision to act against the CAG, he said “The CAG is not god — CAG has given a report, Parliament is supreme. Parliament can certainly look into the records and come to its own conclusion. The CAG report will have to go to the PAC (Public Accounts Committee), but this Lok Sabha has been adjourned sine die. So it won’t happen before the elections, which is why it was placed on the last day.”
Pointing out that all details redacted from the report are with the CAG, Chidambaram said, “He is just not disclosing it. So the PAC can call upon the CAG and say, give us the details. Commercial details are not military secrets.”