New Delhi: Shashi Kant Sharma was today sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. The 61-year old 1976 Bihar cadre IAS officer replaced Vinod Rai, who superannuated yesterday after a five-and-a-half year eventful tenure as the head of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
"Shashi Kant Sharma will have a tenure up to September 24, 2017," an official statement said. He was holding the post of Defence Secretary prior to this new assignment.
Sharma's appointment comes at a time when the CAG has come under sharp attack from the government and ruling party for its reports on assessment of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum. Under Rai's tenure, the CAG was accused of going beyond its auditing ambit and indulging in analyzing policy decisions.
Rai, however, had hit back saying the government just wanted the CAG to be an accountant. The new CAG will have to handle the audit report on AgustaWestland chopper deal, among other reports. He was closely associated with the deal from its early days till its completion in 2010. CAG reports on 2G spectrum and coal block allocations during Rai's tenure had triggered a number of controversies and raised the hackles of the government, besides bringing in the concept of presumptive loss in audit.
Like Vinod Rai, Sharma too has served as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services. Sharma, who holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of York, has spent over 10 years in the Defence Ministry in various capacities.