CAG report on AgustaWestland:Parliament panel may discuss

The reconstituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament may take up for discussion the CAG report on AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. Both houses of Parliament debated the matter last week, following an Italian court order confirming payment of bribe to influential Indian politicians, senior bureaucrats and Air Force officials to secure the deal in the previous UPA government.

The BJP has targeted top functionaries of Congress for having received financial benefits from middlemen and the political slugfest is unlikely to end soon, with its plans to rake the issue in the PAC. The PAC is one of the three financial committees of the Parliament and it ascertains whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by the government “within the scope of the demand”. The appropriation accounts of the government of India and the audit reports presented by the CAG mainly form the basis for the examination of the committee.

Headed by K VThom as (Congress), the committee will meet later this month to decide the matters to take up for discussion. The CAG had presented a report to parliament on this matter in August 2013.

“A decision on the issues to be taken up by the PAC this time will be finalised in our first meeting likely in a fortnight after the end of the session. We are keen that the AgustaWestland issue is taken up and it will be taken up,” a member of the panel said.

Thomas, however, remained guarded in saying the committee usually takes up any issue examined by the top auditor after it submits its report in Parliament. “All these issues will be decided when the PAC meets,” he said.


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