90 pc issues in CAG reports are dropped: FM

New Delhi: The government today downplayed the draft CAG report on coal block allocations with Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee stating that 90 per cent of the issues raised by the auditor at initial stage are dropped.

"After obtaining comments of the ministries, 90 per cent of the issues raised by the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) are dropped. That is the normal practice and it is going on for the last 150 years," the Finance Minister said at a FICCI meeting here.

He said the CAG is a Constitutional body created since the time of Britishers and its job is to find faults with the government.

"I have repeatedly stated (its job is) to find out fault and not to praise the government and certify that government has done a good job. Why ..unneccessary… sensationalisation takes place," Mukherjee asked and added, "what is new if the irregularities are found out in the CAG report and those are to be addressed by Parliament."

Based on the CAG draft report, he said, some newspapers have stated that there is a Rs 10 lakh crore shortfall in the exchequer because of the coal allocation. The issue has rocked Parliament after which the Prime Minister Office released a letter received from CAG stating that report in the newspaper was misleading.

Mukherjee said that it is up to Parliament to take a call on the CAG reports. "The fact of the matter is that it is not a report by itself. CAG is yet to finalise its report", he added.

The report, he said, will go to Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which will send its views to Parliament. CAG, he said, "himself explained in its letter to the Prime Minister that no further clarifications are required and needed".