Chopper scam: CAG auditing AgustaWestland deal, report soon

Mumbai: Amid the storm over alleged kickbacks in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai today said an audit of the controversial deal is under progress and a report would be released soon.

"CAG conducts audit of the defence ministry and we have done it in this case (AgustaWestland deal) too. It will come to your notice very soon. We are conducting the audit", he said during a question-answer session on the deal at a bankers symposium here.

On the status of the audit report in the Rs 3,600 crore deal, Rai said, "audit is under progress but don't know when it will be completed. I am not aware about the stage of audit".

It is alleged that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were paid to bag the contract.



Referring to the spate of corruption issues, Rai said that things have changed and the silent majority can no more be bullied by the minority.

"The myth that has been debunked is that of the silent majority. The majority is always silent because the minority feel that they have a mandate and they are exercising that mandate.

They are more articulate and aggressive than the silent majority...... But, the times have changed....but, the so called people who have the mandate, are typical what I would call, bullies. The majority has to be consistent in their efforts to see the changes in the system," Rai, whose reports
on scams has raised the hackles of the government, said in response to a question.

The Government auditor said compulsion of coalition politics in every democracy is leading to convenient
deviations. "The dominant culture of adjustment is prevalent... with honesty and integrity becoming the casualty," he added.

The most oft repeated statement by the public officials over the large number of misdemeanours which have been reported are that the law would be allowed to take its own course.

"It is unfortunate that this is exactly what doesn't happen and any number impediments are created in law taking its own course," he added.

When asked whether he had any plan to join politics post-retirement, Rai quipped, "Is there any thing wrong in it?'" However, he said , "time alone will tell. I neither affirm nor deny..." Rai is due to retire in May this year.

Describing 2012 as a defining year, Rai said the year debunked the myth of silent majority. "The urban middle-class, who are usually averse to the idea of politics, are now asserting themselves, and are uniting for a cause," he said.

"Today, there is a culture of end justifying the means, which has far reaching implications," he added.

Stating that regulators are complementary to the functioning of democracy, Rai said, "along with horizontal accountability, which the government agencies doing there an urgent need for vertical accountability imposed by citizen groups and mass media among others."

Rai also lauded the role of the media in exposing the wrong doings in public life.


Updated Date: Feb 15, 2013 22:36 PM

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