Big-Ticket Corruption Scandals A Thing of Past: Former CAG Vinod Rai

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Mumbai:  Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai today said the big-ticket corruption scandals are a thing of the past and the recent auction of coal blocks and spectrum stand a “test of transparency”.

“The big-ticket corruption scandals are a thing of the past and we may not have cases of such occurrences now,” the former CAG said while delivering the annual Kilachand Memorial Lecture at the Indian Merchants Chamber in Mumbai.

The former CAG had an issue with the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, where it pegged the national loss at Rs. 1.76 trillion, because it was given under the ‘first-come-first-serve’ policy.

“I don’t think anybody faulted the auction process of 3G (by the previous UPA regime) and I think the same has happened with these two auctions (coal and spectrum). There are some aberrations with regard to court cases, but by and large, 90 per cent, I believe the process does stand the test of transparency,” he said.

Welcoming the rise in activism, Mr Rai said it debunks “the myth of a silent majority” and ensures public interest is not compromised in governance.

“The good thing that is happening in the country is that we have a group of people who are now de-bunking the myth of what I would call ‘silent majority’,” he said.

Citing specific instances of how such activism has helped, Mr Rai said this majority does not want to be silent any more, wants to participate in the decision making and in the process, hold the government responsible.

“Dismissal of the then Haryana top cop SPS Rathore for molesting a girl or the rampant jail paroles of the murderer of model Jessica Lal are instances, where such voices have helped,” he said.

Mr Rai, who is a member of a UN body on external auditors and also advises the Railway Ministry, called for a change in political funding to make it more transparent.

He exuded confidence in the current regime, saying it is a decisive mandate and the government should hopefully be able to deliver.

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