The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday hit out at Finance Minister P. Chidambaram over his remark that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the UPA Government have been cast as adversaries, saying the statement comes as a cruel joke.
BJP leader Balbir Punj said the Congress- led UPA-II Government has in particular a very poor track record of treating the Constitutional authorities like the CVC or the Election Commission of India or the CAG with due respect.
"Chidambaram's statement after hurling so many insults on the institution of CAG comes as a cruel joke. And I wish rather than making such statements, which have lost their meaning, he should have called upon his party men and the government to show due deference to institutions like the PAC, CVC, Election Commission of India and also the CAG," he added.
Chidambaram earlier today said the CAG and the UPA Government have been cast as adversaries to each other in the aftermath of recent audit findings.
"Unfortunately, however, some dissonance has crept into the public discourse and for reasons which are inexplicable, the CAG and the government have been cast as adversarial to each other. Perhaps this in the nature in the functions of the government and CAG," said Chidambaram.
"It is my intention and desire as Minister of Finance to work with CAG to erase the impression of adversaries and restore trust and confidence in all institutions of government," he added.
Chidambaram, who was addressing the opening session of Accountants General Conference here, further said the official auditor has played a key role in addressing issues of good governance and the government is obliged to take necessary actions to address gaps in governance.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the office of CAG is a Constitutional Office.
The authority of the CAG to perform duties and discharge functions is under a law made by Parliament. Thus, while it is correct to describe the office of the CAG as the Constitutional office, it may also be remembered that the CAG owes its authority to a law made by Parliament," said Chidambaram.
"Government looks to the auditor's report to improve its systems and procedures so that both on the revenue side and expenditure side government is able to meet its budgeted targets," he added. (ANI)