CPI-M flays Sibal over spectrum saga

The CPI-M on Saturday said the government had lost "all credibility" by rubbishing an audit report that spoke about huge losses to the exchequer because from the sale of second generation spectrum in 2008.

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 15:55 PM IST

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Saturday said the government had lost "all credibility" by rubbishing an audit report that spoke about huge losses to the exchequer because from the sale of second generation spectrum in 2008.

It said Communications Minister Kapil Sibal`s defence of the spectrum sale only underlined the need for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the entire saga.

"The bizarre defence by Sibal ... again underlines the need for a JPC. The minister, by his unprecedented attack on the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General), is trying to undermine the various inquiries that are presently on and influence official agencies. This is totally unacceptable.

"In his view, CAG used 2010 prices of 3G for 2008, where the subscriber base and the price of the rupee is different. Strangely enough, he does not - by the same logic -- see any problem of using 2001 prices for licenses when there were only four million subscribers in 2008, when the subscriber base was 300 million!

"For the minister`s information, not only CAG, but also TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has suggested using 3G prices for benchmarking 2G spectrum and has also given technical reasons why this can be done.

"Sibal has raised the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) policy in 1999 of shifting from fixed license fees to revenue sharing and the consequent loss to the exchequer.

"He has discovered this rather late and it appears only as a defence of the current 2G scam... Sibal must realise that earlier scams under the Congress or the NDA cannot be used to justify the current 2G scam.

"The Left has not only raised the question of culpability of those whose acts have lead to this huge loss to the exchequer but recovering this loss from those corporate houses who have benefited from (former communications minister A.) Raja`s 2G largesse.

"Sibal`s statement is clearly meant to protect the ill-gotten gains that the corporate houses have made by securing 2G license and spectrum at throw-away prices. This is the reason why Sibal is attacking the CAG report.

"It is clear from Sibals` defence that the UPA government is far more deeply involved than just the lone acts of a Raja. Therefore, it is important that a JPC be constituted to go into all the details of the telecom scam.

"With Sibal`s statement, this government has lost all credibility that it can carry out any impartial probe on this issue."

IANS