2G scam: Joshi terms Sibal's remarks against CAG as 'improper'

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on Wednesday termed the recent remarks of Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal against the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the 2G spectrum issue as 'improper', and added that it had hurt the hurt the dignity of the government auditor.

"The sense of the committee was that Sibal's remarks were improper, against propriety and an attack on the dignity of PAC and CAG. The forum of the Committee was available to the Minister to make any observation or suggestion on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocations," said Joshi.

Further defending the CAG, Joshi said that the auditor had never said his estimates on presumptive losses to the exchequer were final.

"The CAG had only mentioned three different figures based on three different models to calculate the presumptive loss. It had never said the report was final," he added.

Joshi further said the PAC would consider steps that were essential to shun repeat of such incidents.

Sibal on January 7 challenged the CAG"s report on the 2G spectrum scam, saying the figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous.

"Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous. The losses were much lower and that over Rs. 100 crore had been recovered after the government sent out notices," he told reporters.

Kapil Sibal, however, said he respected the CAG, but was extremely pained at the methodology adopted by CAG for arriving at 2G spectrum (loss) figures that have no basis.

The Minister said he agreed with the CAG on two counts - one, that there was something wrong with the rollout of the telecom policy and two, that there was criminal culpability and which is why the CBI, under the Supreme Court, was investigating the matter.

Former Telecom Minister A Raja was forced to resign last month after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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