2G scam: CAG to appear before PAC tomorrow

The Comptroller and Auditor General, whose report on a presumed loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in 2G spectrum allocation created a storm in Parliament, will appear before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday.

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2010, 15:17 PM IST

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General, whose report on a presumed loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore
in 2G spectrum allocation created a storm in Parliament, will
appear before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday.

The PAC, headed by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi,
will continue with its examination of the controversial
allocation of 2G radio waves and Comptroller and Auditor
General Vinod Rai is expected to put forth his point-of-view
before the panel.

The CAG report has proved to be quite an ammunition
for the Opposition, including the BJP and Left parties, to
target the government and it is insisting that only a Joint
Parliamentary Committee can bring out the truth in what they
allege is the "biggest scam in independent India".

The demand for JPC has led to stalemate in Parliament
with the government stoutly resisting Opposition`s demand.

Monday`s meeting assumes added significance with Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh offering to appear before the
Committee. But there has been no official word yet about the
Prime Minister making a formal request.

A decision to ask Rai to appear before the powerful
Parliamentary committee was taken during its last meeting
earlier this month. The committee has already invited views
and suggestions on the 2G spectrum allocation.

"Taking into consideration the importance of the
subject and the nationwide interest evinced in it, the
committee has decided to invite memoranda containing
views/suggestions from various individuals, experts,
associations, institutions, organisations interested in the
subject matter," the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a
notification.

The CAG has quantified revenue loss to the exchequer
at up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore, a development that forced A Raja
to quit as the telecom minister.

The committee has been examining the subject "Recent
Developments in the Telecom Sector including Allocation of 2G
and 3G spectrum" since June and has asked for views within
next 15 days.

The PAC has already obtained some valuable information
from the DoT, Finance Ministry, Telecom Regulatory Authority
of India (TRAI) and experts in the telecom sector through oral
deposition and written submission.

In its last meeting, former telecom secretary
Siddharth Behura is understood to have told the panel that all
decisions related to spectrum allocation were taken by Raja
and he only carried out the orders.

He is understood to have claimed that communication
between the PMO and Raja were enough to indicate that
decision-making powers were confined only to the minister.

PTI