Book Review: Not just an accountant

“Not just an Accountant” is the Memoirs of Vinod Rai, who as Comptroller & Auditor General of India shocked the country with the expose of mammoth scams in the Govt.

Just as T N Seshan changed the profile of the  Election Commisioner’s Office, similarly Vinod Rai changed the profile of what was considered to be a low profile Audit office.

The early chapters of the Book cover his career when he was an IAS officer belonging to the Kerala state cadre.

He narrates some of the challenges he faced there…the diversity of the challenges makes me aware of the tough conflicts IAS officers face while performing their duties.

The later chapters cover the role of the office of CAG and goes into depth of the five key scams unearthed there:

  1. Telecom Scam – The truly shocking scam where he exposes that Manmohan Singh knew what has happening but did not stop it.
  2. Coal Scam- Another scam which Manmohan Singh tried to stop but was too weak to implement his own orders.
  3. Commonwealth Scam- This scam is astounding in its audacity-Suresh Kalmadi floated a private entity to use Govt funds for the Games !
  4. KG Gas Scam- How Reliance ran rings around the Govt in its negotiations is again breath taking.One is by turns amused and shocked at the shenanigans that Reliance got away with.
  5. The Aviation Scam-How the then Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel murdered Air India by needless purchase of aircraft and also screwed the Indian aviation sector by giving non-reciprocal flying freedoms to foreign airlines.

The book is written in a very easy to read manner and the integrity and professionalism of the author leaps from every page.

However it is also a depressing read as one realizes the extent to which our tax money is stolen and frittered by the powers that be.

Do buy this book if interested in knowing how Govt of India functions.

2 replies on “Book Review: Not just an accountant”

I think this wonderful accountant Mr Rai will have to be reappointed to CAG to probe the current government deals – like Rafael (excessive payment compared to previous governments deal), Bullet Train (excessive budget compared to other countries projects), Highways (high allocations, but no apparent improvements), Import of grains to favour Adani, Aerospace company licence to an ‘inexperienced’ Ambani company (instead of HAL), not providing funding for VVPAT on EVMs, real beneficiaries of demonetisation, purpose behind hurried GST implementation etc etc.
Because it appears, currently the CAG is very quiet for the last 3.5 years! I wonder if the ‘accountants’ have different scopes of work depending on who they are and whom they probe!
Writing just as another accountant; At times, been forensic accountant too. Thats all.

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