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States should pay attention to recommendations of CAG: Kovind

States should pay attention to recommendations of  CAG: Kovind

Shimla: President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday said that the state governments should take serious note of advice made by an institution like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which will positively impact the public service delivery standards.

Speaking at the valedictory ceremony of Indian Audit and Accounts Service officers at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, he said the past 18 months have been very trying for the country.

"Economy was badly disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has taken various fiscal measures to alleviate distress and for the welfare of the poor. These are often financed through money, which may be said to have been borrowed from our children and grandchildren," he said.

"Audit engagements provide a unique opportunity of gaining a deep understanding of the system and place you in a good position of suggesting improvements," he added

During the ceremony, 38 officer trainees of 2018 and 2019 batches were awarded induction training completion certificates in the presence of Kovind, state Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, CAG of India Girish Chandra Murmu, among other dignitaries.

The National Academy of Audit and Accounts in Shimla is the apex training institute of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. Since its establishment in 1950, it has played a vital nurturing role in helping the institution of the CAG discharge its constitutional mandate.

Favouring greater flexibility in scheme implementation by consulting states and implementing bodies, the President said: "This is likely to improve programme outcomes. However, this needs to be accompanied with strengthened financial reporting and accountability framework at local governance levels."

For citizen convenience, he said, government processes are increasingly getting digitalized. Fast expanding technology frontier has reduced distance between the state and citizens.

"Through direct benefit transfer, money can reach the poorest citizen in the most remote corner of the country at the push of a computer button. From an audit perspective, this is a 'small challenge' and 'huge opportunity. Using advanced analytics tools, information from large volumes of data can be weaned out without travelling afar.

"You must put your training to best use. It must be added that we have to keep pace with evolving technology landscape. I am certain that CAG is seized of the matter," the President said.

Saying that the CAG has been chosen for audit responsibility of various important multilateral bodies such as the UN, Kovind said: "This is in recognition of India's soft power and I commend the professionalism of the department for these achievements.

"Such engagements also provide an opportunity to look closely at global best practices. I will urge CAG to examine the possibility of adopting some of them in the Indian context."

Reminding the newly-inducted officers of their role while serving the nation, he said: "As public servants, you will derive the greatest satisfaction in being able to serve the poorest and bring a smile on her face.

The President arrived in Shimla on Thursday for a four-day trip to Himachal Pradesh.

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TAGS:States CAG Ram Nath Kovind 
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