CPM faces ideological conflict in opposing CAG audit of KIIFB

The 2012 Delhi government had permitted a CAG audit in BSES and Delhi Power Company where the government had only minority stakes.

Published: 20th September 2019 05:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2019 05:30 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst the controversies raging over the state government denying permission for statutory CAG audit in Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the CPM is facing an ideological conflict. Interestingly, the CPM mouthpiece, ‘People’s Democracy’, in its editorial dated January 12, 2014, hailed the party move in Parliament for an amendment of the Lokpal Bill and to include private companies and public-private-partnership (PPP) companies under the ambit of Lokpal.

The editorial supported the order of Justice Nandrajog and Justice V K Rao of Delhi High Court for a CAG audit in private telecom companies as these firms have a revenue-sharing agreement with the government. The editorial argued that audit in private telecom companies enabled the government and people to see for themselves that the telecom firms were not under reporting revenues.

The 2012 Delhi government had permitted a CAG audit in BSES and Delhi Power Company where the government had only minority stakes. In fact, the editorial lauded it. However, the Left Government in Kerala with a CPM politburo member as Chief Minister is denying permission for CAG to conduct statutory audit in KIIFB and Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) even though the party mouthpiece is for a CAG audit even in private sectors dealing with government funds and government bodies.

“The proclaimed policy of the CPM is against crony capitalism and the party had in Parliament wanted to bring any public-private partnership company under the ambit of Lokpal and supported CAG audit declared by Delhi government in Delhi Power Company and BSES where the government had minority stakes,” Joseph C Mathew, social activist and former IT advisor to V S Achuthanandan when he was Chief Minister, told Express.

“The state government is led by CPM PB member Pinarayi Vijayan and this government is objecting to the statutory CAG audit in companies like KIIFB where there is 100 per cent government funding and in KIAL where it is 84 per cent. The CPM has to answer this politically,” he added.State Planning Board member K N Harilal said that CAG audit was very much in place in KIIFB and that it was mandatory. 

“CAG audit in KIIFB is very much in place and under Section 14 of the Comptroller and Audit General Act, CAG can audit any firm which receives government loan or grant. However, another internal audit of chartered accountants is also in place which is necessary to garner funds from capital markets,” Harilal said.

Courting controversy

Party mouthpiece  in its editorial in 2014, hailed the party move in Parliament for an amendment of Lokpal Bill and to include private companies and public-private-partnership (PPP) companies under the ambit of Lokpal.

The government is objecting to the statutory CAG audit in companies like KIIFB where there is 100% government funding and in KIAL where it is 84 per cent. The CPM has to answer this politically, says Joseph C Mathew

‘CAG audit is very much in place and under Section 14 of the CAG Act, it can audit any firm which receives government loan or grant. Another internal audit of CAs is in place which is necessary to garner funds from capital markets’

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