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Performance of regulators may come under CAG scanner
August, 02nd 2010

The country's apex government auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, may soon extend its ambit to evaluating not just the accounts of certain regulators, but also their performance.

"CAG is currently looking into the books of regulators like Sebi and Irda, but now we want to audit their performance also," said a CAG official on the condition of anonymity.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has asked for a replacement of the CAG Act of 1971 to widen its scope of audit, besides acquiring more powers to gain timely access to books.

"We are looking at auditing the regulators. We have asked in the draft bill to replace the CAG Act of 1971 to audit the financials and performance of regulators and PPPs," he said.

The government is currently reviewing a draft bill to replace the Act for widening the scope of work of the government's statutory auditor, which is a constitutional body.

While speculations were rife that the bill would be tabled in the ongoing session of Parliament, sources said it is likely to be tabled in the winter session.

"Once the CAG report is submitted to the President, it should be tabled in the immediate next session of Parliament to help us function in a more effective manner," he said.

The official indicated that the draft bill has also sought punitive action against companies that delay submitting

details sought by the auditor. "We do not have powers to ensure that records are presented to us as and when we ask for it ... we do not have punitive powers and our resources are limited," he said.

Under the Companies Act, 1956, the CAG can audit the books of only those companies in which the government owns more than 50 per cent.

If the bill goes through, Public Private Partnership projects and other regulators like Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority could also come under the CAG scanner.

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