Govt asks Joshi, CAG to clear air on 2G allocation losses

Tags: 2G Spectrum, CAG, News
Taking note of allegations levelled by a former CAG official on the body and PAC about 2G allocation losses, the government today demanded that PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi and CAG clear the air on the issue.

"The issues raised by R P Singh , former DG, P&T, in CAG are very germane. What is extremely important is that in May 2010 when the draft report was prepared the loss was quantified at Rs 2,645 crore but in November 2010 when the report was presented in Parliament this loss jumped to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. How did this leap take place?" Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters.

Giving twist to the allocation controversy, former Comptroller and Auditor General official R P Singh had questioned the CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

"After completing the audit of Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect ... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said yesterday.

Tewari asked who was responsible for increasing the presumptive loss figures and said this issue should be addressed by the CAG.

"The second question is about propriety. The PAC is supposed to independently exercise oversight over the reports of CAG. If what R P Singh has said is true about the CAG officials actually taking assistance of the PAC in the preparation of its report, does this not amount to a conflict of interest?" Tewari said.

He sought to know if this is a convention or a tradition which has been followed earlier and whether this was done officially or unofficially.

"These are questions that the PAC Chairperson, Murli Manohar Joshi, for whom I have the utmost respect, needs to answer," the minister said.

BJP, however, denied these allegations and maintained that it has been proved that government suffered losses in the 2G spectrum allocation and that there was corruption in the deals.

R P Singh's allegations on 2G report an attempt to malign CAG and PAC by vested interests including government, PAC Chairman M M Joshi said.

BJP MP and party secretary Balbir Punj, said, "R P Singh's charges are meaningless. Two facts have been established in the 2G spectrum case. One that there was a huge loss to the government and secondly there was corruption in the allocations. Had there been no loss the licenses would not have been cancelled and A Raja would not have gone to jail."

NCP leader D P Tripathi maintained that constitutional bodies like the CAG should not be brought into a controversy.

"If what R P Singh has said is true then the losses pointed out by CAG are too high."

"Yes, certainly I think so," says Congress President Sonia Gandhi on whether BJP has been "exposed" over CAG report on 2G scam.

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar questioned the integrity of CAG and demanded that the truth behind its presumptive loss estimate of Rs 1.76 lakh crore be made public.

BJP accused the former CAG official as being a "pawn in the hands of the government" and termed his comments as a "sinister conspiracy".

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