News18» News»Politics»Kerala Assembly Passes Resolution against CAG Report despite Opposition from UDF
2-MIN READ

Kerala Assembly Passes Resolution against CAG Report despite Opposition from UDF

File image of the Kerala assembly.

File image of the Kerala assembly.

Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said certain changes in the final report was made by the CAG without hearing the departments concerned and it may affect the "checks and balances" between the executive and the legislature.

The Kerala Assembly on Friday passed a resolution against the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report despite strong opposition from the Congress-led UDF over removing parts of the report tabled in the House containing adverse references on the KIIFB. The UDF and the lone BJP MLA opposed the resolution saying it was against constitutional values.

Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said certain changes in the final report was made by the CAG without hearing the departments concerned and it may affect the "checks and balances" between the executive and the legislature. The resolution was passed with a voice vote and Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said the CAG report will be sent for the consideration of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after removing concerned pages containing the remarks on Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

However, the final ruling in this regard is pending as Congress legislator V D Satheeshan, who is also the chairman of the PAC, opposed the move saying the House cannot change the report which was signed by the Governor. "How can a state legislature remove certain parts from a report signed by the Governor? If it becomes a precedent, other states will also follow suit.This currently creates a constitutional crisis," Satheeshan said.

The resolution sought to "reject the remarks" regarding KIIFB from Page 41 to 43 of the state financial audit report of the CAG. "The report was prepared without consulting the government. The CAG findings which claimed that the KIIFB has taken off-budget loans and that the burden on the government was not contingent liability are baseless," Vijayan said.

The resolution also marked the CAG report as a clear violation of "professional approach and political neutrality". The state finance audit report of CAG for the financial year 2018 2019 was tabled in the assembly on January 19.

Vijayan said CAG, a constitutional body, as part of its duty was supposed to prepare a draft report after seeking the suggestions of the departments concerned. He added that as usual practice, the final report is submitted after considering these suggestions.

"Here, there are certain references in the final report which was not there in the draft report.In short, natural justice has been denied to the concerned department.It's essential as part of natural justice to hear the other side.If it's violated, then it shakes the foundation of the CAG report itself," Vijayan said. Opposing the resolution, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said the move will set a bad precedent.

Satheeshan said the resolution was unprecedented. "The CAG had earlier submitted a report in Parliament criticising the Modi government. But there was no resolution against it.This is an attempt to destroy a constitutionalbody and encroachment over its authority," Satheeshan said.

The lone BJP member in the Assembly, O Rajagopal also opposed the resolution and said it was against constitutional values and was treating a constitutional body as an enemy. In the recent report, CAG had said the off-budget borrowings through KIIFB, which mobilises funds for infrastructure development from outside the state revenue, were not in accordance with Article 293(1) of the Constitution and "bypasses the limits set on Government borrowings".

"These borrowings are not taken into the disclosure statements in the budget documents or in the accounts and hence such borrowings do not have legislative approval," it stated.

first published:January 22, 2021, 18:42 IST
Loading...