While many institutions lose relevance after a few decades, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is a heritage and every generation should cherish it, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
PM Modi, who inaugurated a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the CAG office to mark the first 'Audit Diwas', said there are very few institutions that become stronger, more mature, and relevant with the passage of time.
"While assessing the work of the government, the CAG has the advantage of an outsider viewpoint. We make systematic improvements with the help of whatever you tell us, we see it as cooperation. There are very few institutions that become stronger, more mature, and more relevant with the passage of time. Most institutions lose relevance after some decades. But CAG is a heritage and every generation should cherish it. It's a huge responsibility," said PM Modi.
He mentioned that the CAG took brave decisions of monetizing unused and under-used elements and as a result, "India is able to revive its economy that is being discussed and welcomed across the world."
Slamming the "lack of transparency" during the previous regime, PM Modi said, "Due to the lack of transparency in the country's banking sector earlier, various practices used to take place. As a result, banks' NPAs (non-performing assets) kept increasing. NPAs piled over the years due to malpractices."
"You know very well, the work done to brush the NPAs under the carpet earlier. But we presented the reality of the previous governments, the trust, and honesty before the nation," said PM Modi, in a dig at the former UPA government.
He said there was a time when the audit was seen with suspicion and fear and "CAG versus government" had become a common mindset of our system. "Sometimes officials used to think that CAG sees faults in everything. But today mindset has been changed. Today audit is considered an important part of value addition," PM added.
Highlighting his government’s motto of "minimum government and maximum governance,'"PM Modi said the Centre is ushering in new policies to give up the old concept of "sarkaar sarvam, sarkaar jaanam, sarkaar grihanam" (Government is all).
Listing out some of the policies introduced by the government in this direction, he said, “Measures like contactless customs, automatic renewals, faceless assessments, and online applications for service delivery have eliminated needless interference by the government."
Audit Diwas was being celebrated to mark the origin of the institution of CAG and the contribution it has made to governance, transparency, and accountability over the past several years. The institution was founded in 1858.