This refers to the report “No need for CAG audit of CBM blocks, says Rangarajan panel” (December 27). Without even entering into the merit of the Comptroller and Auditor General audit, it is not in the jurisdiction of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) Chairman C Rangarajan to comment either way on the need for audit in any particular case. The functions of the prime minister’s EAC are:
a) Analysing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the prime minister and advising him accordingly;
b) Addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views to the prime minister. This could either be suo motu, or on a reference from the prime minister or anyone else;
c) Submitting periodic reports to the prime minister on macroeconomic developments and issues with implications for economic policy;
d) Attending to any other task the prime minister may desire.
Therefore, the EAC’s functions are in the nature of “macro” issues, and do not involve commenting on any specific case of a ministry in a controversy with a particular industrialist. The fourth item may cover any task given by the prime minister but that also has to be necessarily in the nature of the three terms enumerated in view of the principle of ejusdem generis. Solving a particular controversy cannot be in the EAC’s jurisdiction. If the EAC is used or it chooses to be used suo motu in this manner, it will be a case of debasement of one more revered institution. And that will be sad.
Sukumar Mukhopadhyay, New Delhi
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