Maharashtra: When will state government listen to CAG?

According to the information revealed through an RTI, the government has filed few Action Taken Reports since 1986.

A Mumbai-based RTI activist has revealed shocking information regarding the reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to the Maharashtra Assembly.

According to the information obtained by Jeetendra Ghadge, the state government does not act on the recommendations given by the CAG. Every year the CAG presents its report to Maharashtra Assembly after studying the working and accounts of various departments of the state government. The CAG brings forward the loss incurred by wrong decisions of the state, which ultimately is a burden on the exchequer.

To curb corruption in departments where the CAG has made recommendations, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the CAG asks for the Action Taken Report (ATR) from the state government, but according to the RTI activist, since 1986 till date the government has filed only few ATRs.

"It is very sad to see that on one hand a constitutional body like the CAG is making recommendations to curb corruption, but on other hand the government doesn't even file a proper ATR on it. Unfortunately, the CAG has no authority to file FIR but whatever information they get is authentic and with solid proof. The government instead trashing these recommendations could have saved a lot of money if it would have taken action on the same," said Ghadge.

The information reveals that since 1986 to 2010, 336 ATRs are still pending and most reports (139) are pending with the Revenue and Forest Department. The Finance Department has 61 ATR still pending and the Home Department has 9 ATRs pending with them.

To improve the functioning of various departments and curb the loss of the state, the CAG makes these recommendations every year.

Ghadge said that one of the reasons that the government officers don't pay attention to CAG recommendations can be that the officers feel how can they take action against their own staff or file an ATR.

Talking about the responsibility of the state, Congress spokesperson Raju Waghmare said that CAG recommendations should be taken seriously by the government as they are based on concrete proof. "It will certainly help us to save money."

Also read: Congress demands Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation after CAG indicts state government in VYAPAM scam