Modi Government rejects ‘conflict of interest’ charge against CAG Mehrishi

CAG Rajiv Mehrishi

New Delhi,
Feb 12. The Central government on Monday rejected allegation of “conflict
of interest
” levied by the Congress party against CAG
Rajiv Mehrishi
over the audit agency’s proposed report on the Rafale
deal,
saying he never dealt with expenditure proposals from the
Ministry of Defence as Finance Secretary.

The
development comes a day after the Congress party accused Mehrishi of committing
“gross impropriety” by auditing the Rafale deal, saying as the
Finance Secretary he was involved in the deal announced by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi in April 2015.

The CAG
report is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Mehrishi had
joined the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance as
Secretary in October 2014.

As the senior-most
Secretary among the five secretaries of the Ministry that time, he was
designated as the Finance Secretary on November 11, 2014. He continued as
Secretary (Economic Affairs) and Finance Secretary till August 2015 when he
demitted office.

In a statement
on Monday evening, the Ministry said: “Secretary (Economic Affairs) as
Finance Secretary doesn’t deal with expenditure proposals from the Ministry of
Defence; rather it is Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, which
deals with financial sanctions relating to all the ministries of the government
of India.”

“To
claim that Secretary (Economic Affairs) as Finance Secretary would have dealt
with the expenditure proposals from the Ministry of Defence is totally a
figment of imagination and stretch of facts.”

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