2G scam: Sibal questions CAG report

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday questioned the CAG report on 2G spectrum scam asserting that there were actually no losses to the exchequer.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: At a time when the Opposition has stepped up its attack on the UPA government demanding a JPC probe into the 2G scam, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday questioned the veracity of the CAG report and its estimates of losses of Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to the spectrum allocation.

"We are extremely pained at methodology adopted by CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) for arriving at 2G spectrum (allocation loss) figures... that has no basis", Kapil Sibal said while addressing press conference here.

“The CAG estimates on losses arising from sale of 2G spectrum were utterly erroneous, " he added.
The Telecom Minister also shifted the blame on BJP-led NDA and said that its Telecom policy in 1999 is mainly responsible for the losses which the Department of Telecom has suffered.

“The National Telecom Policy, which started in 1994, is the brainchild of BJP-led NDA government. The spectrum was allocated by A Raja as per the same policy”, he said.

“It was during NDA rule that 85 2G licenses were given and under UPA rule that 147 2G licenses were allotted,” he informed.

Asserting that there were actually no losses to the exchequer, Sibal said, "CAG has done injustice to itself and the Opposition is doing injustice to the Aam Admi."

The CAG, in its 77-page report tabled in Parliament in November last year, had said that due diligence was not followed and even the recommendations of the telecom regulator TRAI were "not followed in spirit".
The report said the "presumptive" loss caused to the exchequer through spectrum allocation to 122 licensees and 35 dual technology licences in 2007-08 was Rs 1,76,645 crore. It arrived at the figure on the basis of 3G auction held earlier this year in which the government mopped up over Rs 67,000 crore.

The 2G scam has become a major political issue with the Opposition demanding a Joint Parliament Committee to probe the issue. The demand, however, was rejected by the government leading to disruption of almost the entire Winter Session of Parliament.

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