Saturday, January 22 2022

While PREMIER Narendra Modi was invited to the two-day centenary celebrations of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this weekend, he has yet to confirm whether he will attend, said Adhir Ranjan. Chowdhury, Congress leader to Lok Sabha who heads the PAC.

“The President’s office has invited the Prime Minister on behalf of all of us. The president is coming. We still hope that the PM will accept our request, and will come either for the inauguration ceremony or for the farewell. But we have no confirmation, ”Chowdhury said.

“But if he doesn’t, what can we do?” Yes, we will all be sad that a century-old institution celebrates its centenary and that the Prime Minister is not there ”, he declared.

The event will be opened by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday in the presence of Vice President and President of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu, President Om Birla, Vice President of Rajya Sabha Harivansh and Chowdhury. The minute-by-minute schedule for the two-day event does not mention the presence of the Prime Minister.

Some of the PAC meetings in the recent past had witnessed heated arguments between Chowdhury and members of the BJP. In July last year, they argued over Chowdhury’s proposal that the panel discuss the impact of the pandemic on various sectors. In June, there was heated debate over Chowdhury’s proposal that the panel review the vaccination schedule for discussion.

Chowdhury also wanted to review donations to the PM Cares fund. Asked about the PM Cares fund audit, Chowdhury told reporters on Friday: “Our hands are tied because the PM Cares fund does not report to the CAG.”

Chowdhury said delegates from 52 countries have been invited. Given the new Omicron threat, none of them will attend the centenary celebrations.

On Saturday, following the inauguration of the event, the president will chair a meeting with the presidents of state legislatures. There will then be separate sessions on how the PAC works and how to implement the panel’s recommendations.

The first session, “How PAC Works Today, Challenges and the Way Forward: Realigning PAC Approach; collecting information from non-governmental sources and evaluating the results of programs / programs / projects ”, will be chaired by Chowdhury; the second, “Implementation of PAC recommendations: respect of deadlines and strict compliance mechanism”, will be chaired by the President of the PAC of Rajasthan, Gulab Chand Kataria. On the second day, there will be sessions on “PAC as a development partner: focusing on strengthening systems and promoting good governance” and “Impact of PAC: ensuring citizens’ right to due process. and value for money for taxpayers ”.


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