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CAG bursts MK Alagiri's fertiliser bomb
The subsidy on imported fertilisers between 1998-99 and 2008-09 had increased from 3 per cent to 47 per cent.
New Delhi: DMK leader and Union Minister MK Alagiri is in the news for the wrong reasons again. In its report submitted to Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has faulted the Department of Fertilisers (DoF) which falls under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers headed by him for not co-operating with the agency during its performance audit report on the fertiliser subsidy.
CAG Vinod Rai and Principal Director of Audit KR Sriram have requested Parliament and its Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to look into the DoF's obstructive attitude.
"It is for Parliament and the PAC to judge whether Government Departments should continue to display such a low priority to Audit Reports," the report observes in its preface.
Explaining the sequence of events, it further adds, "While every effort is being made to ensure total transparency and a well balanced approach, we are constrained to point out that, in the course of this Audit, while the Principal Director of Audit forwarded the draft Report to the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers on December 1, 2010 seeking his comments and also seeking Exit Conference, the letter was not replied to."
"Subsequently, the Principal Director of Audit addressed the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers again on February 2, 2011, stating that the comments of the department are still awaited. He also reminded the Secretary to indicate a convenient date for the Exit Conference. Unfortunately, even this letter went unheeded," it added.
The purpose of the Exit Conference is to provide an opportunity to the ministry to discuss the audit findings and to clarify any point of doubt that the ministry may raise. The DMK's antipathy towards the CAG is well known after its report on 2G spectrum last year sealed the fate of former Telecom Minister A Raja, a DMK leader.
Even though the report does not directly indict Alagiri's ministry, it raises suspicions about large-scale diversion of fertilisers to the non-farming sector.
It points out the complete mismatch between fertiliser requirements and domestic productions. The subsidy/concession on imported fertilisers between 1998-99 and 2008-09 had increased from 3 per cent to 47 per cent.