New Delhi: Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) chief and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Wednesday said it was 'unfortunate' that questions were being raised about the Comptroller Auditor General's credibility for stating that the allocation of 2G spectrum had caused a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.
'It is unfortunate...quite recently some of CAG's critical observations in its reports tabled in the house, a fraction of the press and even some parliamentarians tried to veto down the credibility of the institution of CAG,' Joshi said addressing a function to celebrate 150 years of CAG.
Joshi's comments come after a key auditor, R.P. Singh, alleged that the figure of Rs.1.76 lakh crore loss given by CAG was only a mathematical guess.
Joshi, quoting former president S. Radhakrishnan, said 'the audit department is obliged to say things which are embarrassing to the government, but it is the duty of its officers, on account of their greater loyalty to the country, to act as a check even on the government of the country.'
The BJP leader thanked Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for supporting CAG and also sought his attention to giving more powers to the government auditor.
'(CAG) needs to be better appreciated by parliamentarians and members of the press today, at a time when democratic institutions are under attack and several scams have come to light, it is heartening that Mukherjee has come out in support of the institution,' he said.
'I have instances where files have been denied to the CAG. This should be taken care of by the finance minister, and CAG should be given more powers,' he said.