The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Defence Ministry to trace and share with it all missing files related to the Bofors scandal, according to its two members. The six-member sub-committee on defence, headed by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, is looking into the long-pending non-compliance of certain aspects of the CAG report on the Bofors guns deal.
The PAC strongly objected to the ministry’s suggestion that certain paragraphs of the CAG report may be dropped as some files related to it are missing, according to the minutes of the parliamentary panel’s meeting, a copy of which is with PTI. The meeting was held earlier this month.
During the meeting, both PAC chairman Mahtab and BJP MP Nishikant Dubey stressed on the need for top ministry officials to trace and share missing files and notings related to the deal. According to the minutes of the meeting, top defence ministry officials agreed that the ministry will share all the required details with the PAC.
When contacted, two MPs who are members of the committee confirmed that the ministry has agreed to share the details with them. The Bofors scandal relating to alleged payment of kickbacks in procurement of howitzer artillery guns had triggered a massive political storm and led to the fall of the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989.
The CAG report on Bofors is the oldest “pending” report before the PAC, which examines audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India after these are tabled in Parliament.