NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday asked the Speaker of Lok Sabha to find ways so that more time could be devoted for discussions on businesses like passing of Finance Bill.
Expressing concern over little time being devoted for important Bills, while inaugurating the Accountant General’s Conference here, the President said “...as the Speaker (Lok Sabha) is present here, I would also like to put the opportunity of sharing my concern that not adequate time we are devoting in Parliament while sanctioning money, while imposing taxes, before scrutiny of the law, before scrutiny of expenditure proposals despite the establishment of institutional arrangement like Parliamentary Standing Committee are not taking place before the passage of the Finance Bill.”
“Therefore, much more time are required to be devoted either for legislations and for sanctioning money dealing with the financial transactions and both Chairman PAC (Public Accounts Committee) and Speaker may ponder over and find a practical solution to achieve this objective,” the President said.
Many studies have been conducted by Parliament itself indicated the time devoted for legislations in the first, second, third and fourth Lok Sabha for disposing of financial matters were much more compared to the later Parliaments, he said.
“Therefore, I do feel that time has arisen to take some corrective courses,” the President pointed out.
While appreciating the exemplary role played and duties displayed by the Comptroller and Auditors General, Mukherjee said, “In the past 65 years, all the Comptroller and Auditor Generals (CAGs) have been appointed by the executives. “But without any exception all the CAGs up to now have shown exemplary courage and administrative skill acumen and integrity not to succumb to the pressures of the executives, if there be any,” Mukherjee said.
“In a parliamentary democracy like ours, the executive is held accountable to the legislature. The reports of the CAG submitted to the legislature play a seminal role in the enforcement of accountability,” he added.
The President also called for transition from traditional methods of auditing and added that with ‘Digital India’ becoming the backbone the transitions should be possible.
In her address, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked to encourage reform and innovation, and added that CAG reports should also highlight best practices and notable achievements of an organisation.