Controversial CAG report to be tabled in Assembly today

Controversial CAG report to be tabled in Assembly today

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s( CAG’s) audit report for the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2019, containing alleged irregularities in the market borrowings of controversial government entity KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) may be tabled in the Kerala Assembly on Monday.

A controversy had erupted when state finance minister Thomas Isaac took the unprecedented step of attacking the CAG last November, alleging its conclusions were politically motivated. He had said that the Kerala government will not allow the CAG to destroy KIIFB.

Following this, the Opposition moved a breach of privilege notice against the finance minister. Congress MLA VD Satheesan had filed the complaint against Thomas Isaac to the Assembly Speaker. The complainant alleged the finance minister revealed the content in the CAG report to the media before tabling it in the Assembly.

The CAG report is considered a secret document till it comes before the House. According to accepted norms, any document that is the property of the Assembly, cannot be discussed outside before it is presented in the Assembly. The CAG has, reportedly found serious breaches by KIIFB, particularly with its market borrowings, including a masala bond issue floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Finance minister Isaac had initially said it was CAG’s draft report, but later admitted it was a final one, which should have been tabled in the Assembly. But he defended his decision as an extraordinary measure taken at an extraordinary situation created by the CAG report

Meanwhile, there are reports that the Privileges and Ethics Committee chaired by MLA Pradeep Kumar, may table its final report soon. There are indications the committee may come to the conclusion that there was no violation of rights on the minister’s part.


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