G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

SAI20 and India’s Presidency of G20


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SAI20 engagement group and India’s presidency

Mains level: SAI20 and CAG's leadership and sustainable economic growth


Central Idea

  • Under India’s presidency, the G20 leaders will be focusing on collective progress, equity, and inclusive growth, with the summit theme of One Earth, One Family, One Future. India’s commitment to green development, circular economy, and lifestyle behavior changes aim to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) will chair SAI20, the Engagement Group for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAls) of G20 countries in Goa in June.

Top Priority areas for SAI20 deliberations Under India’s presidency

  • The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) will chair SAI20 in Goa in June this year.
  • Two priority areas have been selected for SAI20 deliberation:
  1. Blue economy
  2. Responsible Artificial Intelligence

What is SAI20?

  • SAI20 stands for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of G20 countries.
  • It is a forum where SAIs from G20 countries can engage with each other to share their experiences and expertise in auditing public policies and governance practices.
  • The group meets annually to discuss important issues related to public auditing and to develop joint initiatives to promote good governance and accountability in their respective countries.

What is Blue Economy?

  • Blue Economy is defined by the World Bank as the Sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ecosystem.
  • Gunter Pauli’s book, The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs” (2010) brought the Blue Economy concept into prominence.
  • The UN first introduced blue economy at a conference in 2012 and underlined sustainable management, based on the argument that marine ecosystems are more productive when they are healthy. In fact, the UN notes that the Blue Economy is exactly what is needed to implement SDG 14, Life Below Water.
  • The term ‘blue economy’ includes not only ocean-dependent economic development but also inclusive social development and environmental and ecological security.

Key functions and significance of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs)

  • Independent audits: SAIs conduct independent audits of government finances and operations to ensure that public funds are being used in accordance with the law, and that government agencies are operating effectively and efficiently.
  • Promoting transparency and accountability: SAIs promotes transparency and accountability by making audit reports publicly available, and by providing information to the public about government spending and operations.
  • Improving governance: By identifying weaknesses and inefficiencies in government operations, SAIs can help to improve governance and promote more effective use of public resources.
  • Supporting the legislative branch: SAIs supports the legislative branch by providing information and analysis that can help lawmakers make informed decisions about government programs and policies.
  • Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations: SAIs ensure compliance with laws and regulations by reviewing government operations and financial statements to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Fostering international cooperation: Through international organizations such as the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), SAIs collaborates and share best practices with their counterparts in other countries to promote good governance and accountability globally.

Facts for prelims

What is Compendium of Asset Accounts of Natural Resources?

  • The Compendium of Asset Accounts of Natural Resources is a comprehensive report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in line with the United Nations system of Environmental and Economic Accounts.
  • It is the first-ever country-wide compendium of natural resource accounting methodologies and provides a guide for the Indian government to utilize natural resources optimally.
  • The report covers various aspects of natural resources such as forests, minerals, water, and land, and includes accounts of physical quantities, values, and transactions related to these resources.
  • The main objective of the compendium is to improve the management of natural resources and promote sustainable development.


How CAG can lead the SAI20 engagement group?

  • Setting the agenda: The CAG can set the agenda for SAI20 deliberations, identifying priority areas for discussion and ensuring that they align with the broader goals of the G20 and the United Nations.
  • Providing technical expertise: The CAG can provide technical expertise in auditing and public finance management, which can help other SAIs in the group to develop their capacity and improve their performance.
  • Developing audit toolkits: The CAG can take the lead in developing audit toolkits, which can help SAIs in the group to assess development in coastal stretches, track marine water quality, and promote sustainable development.
  • Building consensus: The CAG can work towards building consensus among SAIs in the group, promoting constructive dialogue and agreement on how to improve auditing of performance in specific areas of ocean-based activities.
  • Strengthening accountability: The CAG can use SAI20 to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance in ocean-based activities, which can help ensure that economic growth benefits are shared fairly across generations.


  • The toolkits being prepared by SAI20 under the leadership of the CAG of India will be presented at the SAI20 Engagement Group meet, which will provide a unique opportunity for constructive dialogue and agreement to improve auditing of performance in specific areas of ocean-based activities. This collaborative effort would not only build capacity for auditors across SAI20 member countries but also help regional auditing communities by providing a common and replicable auditing tool.

Mains Question

Q. The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) will chair SAI20 (Supreme Audit Institutions) of G20 countries this year. In this light discuss the role of SAI 20 and How CAG can lead the engagement group for sustainable economic growth?

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 Also read:

Blue Economy: India’s G20 Presidency Offers An Opportunity


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