Did BJP's Joshi influence CAG's 2G report?



New Delhi: In a new twist to the 2G tale, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Murli Manohar Joshi is alleged to have pushed the government auditor to speed up finalisation of the 2G audit report before it was tabled in parliament last winter session.

In an internal note dated July 13, 2010, RB Sinha, director general, report central (RC) in the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) office, has written that he got a call from Joshi, who heads parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The note addressed to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta states that Joshi cited "tremendous pressure on him from parliamentarians, media about the examination being done by the PAC in respect of 'the recent developments in the telecom sector including allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum'."

The note, a copy of which is with agency, states that Joshi also asked Sinha to brief him and the PAC on the status of the report that was tabled in parliament last winter session.

The new twist comes on a day India's top government auditor Vinod Rai deposed before the Joint Parliament Committee (JPC) Tuesday, a day after his former colleague contradicted the controversial 2G audit report saying the presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore in the radio wave allocation was only a "mathematical guess".

Rai, during his examination, was asked about the differences of opinion within the CAG, after RP Singh, one of the key auditors in the 2G case, told the multi-party parliamentary probe panel that the loss suffered in the sale of scarce radiowave spectrum was only Rs.2,645 crore.

There was no official word on the meeting of Rai with JPC but sources said that he has stuck to his figure of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.

Singh, then director general of audit, post and telecommunication, who retired Aug 31, explained to JPC Monday that his calculation in a draft audit report was based on inflation rate of seven years as the entry fee decided in 2001 was not revised in 2008.

Singh also alleged on Monday that he was asked by his seniors to sign the final audit report even as he disagreed with much of its content.

IANS