The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is expected to submit the audit of one of the most controversial issues of the recent times, the Rafale deal. The national auditor is likely to submit the much-awaited audit report on big-sized military procurements of the last few years to the President on Monday which includes Rafale deal as well.
The last day of budget session which would also be the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha before General election is likely to witness the tabulation of CAG report. Wednesday is the last day of the current session of Parliament.
One of the government officials told Hindustan Times, "Report is ready to be submitted to the President. A copy of the report will be submitted to the government as well. The President will forward the report to the presiding officers – speaker of Lok Sabha and chairman of Rajya Sabha – who will lay it in the Parliament." It is to be noted that the central government is facing the heat over the delay in the tabulation of the report in the Parliament. The opposition parties have accused Modi government of destroying the institutions.
The CAG officials clarified that it was a performance audit where the CAG audited the procurement systems. On the condition of anonymity, one of the CAG officials said, "As is the case with all audits, it also started with an "Entry Conference" wherein the auditee was informed of the scope and objective of the audit and how the teams of auditors are going to collect samples for survey. The entry conference is the initiation point of an audit."
It was known that an exit conference was also held after the audit that was presided over by the director general of defence audit, a field office of CAG.
As per the guidelines mandated in the CAG rule book, an exit conference is a platform where the discussions are held to arrive at an agreement with an auditee about audit conclusions and recommendations. The practice is an attempt to allow the audited entity to respond to each recommendation and the final responses are published in the final audit report.
The process for the long-delayed Rafale deal was initiated during the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in June 2001. As per the requirement given by Indian Air force, the original proposal was to procure 126 fighter jets of which 18 warplanes was to be inducted in fly-away condition. The remaining 108 aircraft were to be manufactured by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under licence. After UPA-2 finalized the deal, the Modi led government made major changes in the deal when it curtailed the number from 126 to mere 36.