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Odisha MP submits two private members' bills in Parliament

 

Posted Wednesday July 06, 2016

CAG, Parliament, Baijayant Panda  
 
Believing that the CAG acts as the custodian of the public purse and provides Parliament with information to ensure accountability and scrutiny of the government and trusting that the CAG can do justice to this role only if he is competent, independent and empowered, Odisha MP Baijayant Panda has submitted two Private Members’ Bills in the Parliament.  
HNF Correspondent  
 

Baijayant Panda, Senior BJD leader and Lok Sabha member from Odisha’s Kendrapara, has submitted two Private Members’ Bills for the consideration of Parliament to strengthen the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) and to ensure his independence by changing the appointment process prescribed in the Constitution.

Believing that the CAG acts as the custodian of the public purse and provides Parliament with information to ensure accountability and scrutiny of the government and trusting that the CAG can do justice to this role only if he is competent, independent and empowered, Panda has submitted two Private Members’ Bills in the Parliament.

 

In the first Bill Panda seeks to amend the Constitution to prescribe that the CAG should be appointed on the recommendation of a Committee consisting of the Speaker of the Loksabha, the Prime Minister, the leader of Opposition of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The committee should take a decision by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the names considered by the committee should be forwarded to the Chief Justice of India who can then use his deciding vote to break the tie.

Panda has suggested in his second bill for amendment of the Audit Act that governs the powers and the functions of the CAG to remove the impediments that hinder the performance of his duties. It seeks to make the following six changes:

1) Give statutory backing to ‘performance audits’

2) Bring contractual agreements and other partnership arrangements such as PPP within the ambit of the CAG, but protect private players from undue interference

3) Prescribe timelines for reverting to information requests from CAG, lay down penalties and give additional powers such as the power to access premises and examine officials under oath.

4) Re-define the term ‘substantially financed’ from government revenue to bring more bodies within the ambit of the CAG – The Bill lowers the requirement from 75% to 51% contribution from the government.

5) Allow more scrutiny in cases where organisations receive loans or grants from the government

6) Prescribe time limits for laying CAG reports in the Legislature - Reports of the CAG must be laid before Parliament or the State Legislature within seven days of sitting.

 
 

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