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Home News Power Sector News CAG wants to regulate regulators like CERC, PFRDA and PNGRB

CAG wants to regulate regulators like CERC, PFRDA and PNGRB

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VInod Rai, CAGThe Comptroller and Auditor General, who audits the government's receipts and expenditures, has sought powers to audit the functions of over a dozen other government regulators, including the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, which do not have appellate tribunals to listen to appeals against their verdicts. Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India''We have said that regulators must also be within the overview of the CAG,'' Vinod Rai, the current CAG, said at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the National Academy of Audit and Accounts held in Shimla.

The CAG's proposal to expand its oversight forms part of its suggestions made in the draft Bill governing the role and function of the CAG. The Bill is currently with the finance ministry. If the proposal is accepted by the government, regulators such as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), and the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India could come under the direct oversight of the CAG.

''There are at least 15 of them,'' Rai said. If the government agrees, CAG could take a view on their pricing decisions and say if their policy decisions were right or wrong, as it does for the ministries and government departments it audits.

CAG would, however, not be able to oversee regulators such as the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Rai clarified. SEBI already has a Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Explaining his request, Rai said several new regulators, whose decisions require supervision, have come up. ''We have said that a regulator's regulators must come under CAG's purview.''

CAG has steadily extended its influence since Rai took over two years ago, asking for access to the accounts of non-governmental organisations and groups that distribute government funds, as well as the books of special purpose vehicles set up by private firms to operate infrastructure projects.

The draft bill also says government departments must be obliged to respond to its queries within 30 days.

In a recent audit of the government's accounts for 2008-09, the CAG had criticised the accounting practices followed by some regulators.

It had pulled up five regulators including market watchdog SEBI and insurance regulator IRDA for maintaining their Rs1,747 crore surplus funds outside the government accounts at the end of 2008-09 in violation of constitutional provisions.

Source- Domain-B

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