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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the event marking the celebration of first Audit Diwas. He also unveiled the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Girish Chandra Murmu was among those present on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said the CAG not just keeps track of nation’s accounts but also does value addition to productivity and efficiency, therefore deliberations on the Audit Day and related programmes are part of our improvement and improvisation. CAG is an institution that has grown in importance and has created a legacy with passage of time.

The Prime Minister paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, and Babasaheb Ambedkar, and said that these great leaders taught us how to set big goals and achieve them.

Modi said there was a time when auditing in the country was looked upon with apprehension and dread. ‘CAG vs Government’ had become the common thought of our system. “But, today this mindset has changed. Today audit is being considered as an important part of value addition,” the PM said, according to a PIB release.

The Prime Minister said that earlier, due to lack of transparency in the banking sector, various wrong practices were followed. The result was that the NPAs of the banks kept increasing. “You know very well how, in the past, NPAs were brushed under  the carpet. However, we have put the truth of the previous governments in front of the country with complete honesty. We will find the solutions only when we recognise the problems,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said, “ Today we are making such a system in which the thinking of ‘Sarkar Sarvam’ i.e. the interference of the government is decreasing, and your work is also getting easier.”This is in accordance with ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’. “Contactless customs, automatic renewals, faceless assessments, online applications for service delivery. All these reforms have ended the unnecessary interference of the government,” he added.

Modi expressed happiness that CAG has overcome the image of a meddlesome busybody fumbling with files. He noted, “CAG has changed rapidly by adopting modern procedures. Today you are using advanced analytics tools, geo spatial data, and satellite imagery.”

The Prime Minister, talking about the biggest epidemic of the century, pointed out that the country’s fight against it has also been extraordinary. Today we are running the world’s largest vaccination programme. Just a few weeks ago, the country crossed the milestone of 100 crore vaccine doses, he informed. He suggested that CAG may study the practices that emerged during this great fight.

Modi said in olden times, information was transmitted through stories. History was written through stories. But today in the 21st century, data is information, and in the coming times our history will also be seen and understood through data. In the future, data will dictate history, he concluded.