Friday, April 19, 2013

Vinod Rai The Comptroller & Auditor General of India

Mr. Vinod Rai took over as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India on 7th January 2008. Mr. Rai has wide experience of working in various capacities at both, the Federal and State Governments. His previous position was as Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, where he was responsible for managing the Financial Services sector, including banks and insurance companies.  He has been a Director on several Boards including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India and Infrastructure Development and Finance Company of India. Mr. Rai was instrumental in setting up the India Infrastructure Finance Company and was also on the Board of this company.  Mr. Rai has also been the Principal Secretary (Finance) in the State Government of Kerala, apart from holding senior positions in the Ministries of Commerce and Defence, Government of India.
Mr. Rai’s responsibilities in the international arena include membership of the U.N. Panel of External Auditors and of the Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).  He also has the responsibility, as chair, of steering the INTOSAI Working Group on IT Audit and the Knowledge Sharing Committee. He is also a member of the Professional Standards Committee and Sub-Committee on Compliance Audit of INTOSAI and of the working groups on Environmental Auditing and Public Private Partnerships. Mr. Rai is the Member of the Governing Board of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI).
Mr. Vinod Rai (born on 23.05.1948) has a Masters Degree in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, USA.
He is a keen tennis player and his other interests include cricket and mountaineering.

In a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School, he said, "Since the Indian democracy is maturing and the urban middle class is becoming more involved in affairs of citizens, we continue to tread the new path in the belief that the final stakeholder is the public at large". Rai, whose reports on various scams have raised the hackles of those in the government, said the CAG would "endeavour to uncover instances of crony capitalism and counsel the government to support enterprises and not entrepreneurs".

"We may not be able to wipe out corruption, but our endeavour is to uncover instances of crony capitalism. The government should be seen to support enterprise per se and not particular entrepreneurs," he said. Referring to the criticism sparked by CAG reports on the telecom and coal scams, among others, Rai said the role of a public auditor cannot be confined to merely placing its report in Parliament.

"Should we, as public auditors, limit our role to placing reports in Parliament or go beyond that and seek to sensitise public opinion on our audit observations, especially so in social sector audits such as rural health, primary education, water pollution, environment, drinking water etc?"

Maintaining that the auditing of government and public entities has a positive impact on trust in society, Rai added: "It focuses the minds of the custodians of the public purse to use resources effectively."

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