A quick one on the FT news item on the Reliance Industries’ angry missive against the Comptroller and Auditor General Office in India on their allegations against private sector oil companies. I have not gone into it in detail and hence this post is not about the substance of the charges made by the CAG against the private oil companies that they inflated the capital expenditures incurred by them so that the Government of India shelled out more than what it would have. What caught my attention, however, was this novel definition of an auditor that the Congress spokesperson Digvijay Singh gave for the role of a CAG:
Digvijay Singh, a senior Congress party politician and close ally of the Gandhi family, has tried to diminish the CAG’s findings, saying the agency’s purpose was not to act as an anti-corruption watchdog.
“I am very surprised that senior parliamentarians have not understood the role of the CAG,” he said. “The role is that of an auditor. [A] CAG report is not a report on corruption. It is not an investigative agency but a bookkeeping agency.”
Since when did an auditor become a book-keeper?
Coming to think of it, this gentleman was the toast of the intelligentsia and the chattering classes some years ago as a Chief Minister who provided good governance.