Govt challenges CAG for open debate over 2G report
New Delhi: The government once again launched a blistering attack on the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Saturday following the poor response to the 2G spectrum auction, saying that the auditor's scam loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore has proved to be a "myth".
Blaming the country's top auditor for "sensationalising" the 2G scam loss figure, union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, asked for an open debate on 2G related facts and clear the air on the issue.
While addressing a press conference, Tewari asked,"Very humbly and with respect, we request the CAG to come on a public platform and have an open debate on the findings of the 2G report."
“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 got exponentially multiplied to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. How did this leap of faith take place", he asked.
He also asked was it correct for officials of CAG to be assisting Public Accounts Committee (PAC), officially or unofficially, in preparing its report. The third question, he asked was how CAG came to the conclusion that the loss incurred is 1.76 lakh crore.
"These are questions that the PAC Chairperson, Murli Manohar Joshi, for whom I have the utmost respect, needs to answer," he said.
Tewari described the handling of 2G report by CAG as ‘sensational’ and said that the entire figures were ‘mythical’ and not supported by substantial methodology.
While targeting BJP over insider claim, Tewari said the opposition is ignoring the Constitution. “Some outside people also influenced the assessment of 2G”, he said.
He strictly said that the action should be taken against those giving sensational figures on 2G loss.
Giving a twist to the 2G allocation row, former Director-General, Post and Telecommunications at CAG, RP Singh, yesterday, said a report prepared by him contained no losses on account of 2G spectrum allocation and questioned 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.
Responding to the charges, Joshi said, "Singh's allegations on 2G reports are an attempt to malign CAG and PAC by vested interests including the government."
Joshi offered to resign if allegations against him can be proved, after coming in the eye of a storm when RP Singh accused him of calling audit officials to his home for preparation of the PAC report on 2G scam that indicted the government.
Meanwhile, BJP accused the former CAG official as being a "pawn in the hands of the government" and termed his comments as a "sinister conspiracy".