PAC upset with Sibal for CAG attack; to ensure it doesnt recur

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) Hitting out at Telecom MinisterKapil Sibal, Parliament''s Public Accounts Committee today saidhis "improper" remarks against the CAG on the 2G spectrumissue had hurt the dignity of the government auditor.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli ManoharJoshi also said that the committee members had asked him totake appropriate steps to ensure that such instances do notrecur.

"The sense of the committee was that Sibal''s remarks wereimproper, against propriety and an attack on the dignity ofPAC and CAG," Joshi told reporters here.

He said the forum of the Committee was available to theminister to make any observation or suggestion on the reportof the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allegedirregularities in the 2G spectrum allocations.

Joshi launched a defence of the CAG contending that theauditor had never said his estimates on presumptive losses tothe exchequer were final. "The CAG had only mentioned threedifferent figures based on three different models to calculatethe presumptive loss. It had never said the report was final,"he said.

To a question on whether Sibal''s remarks amounted tobreach of privilege, the BJP leader said as of now he was notin a position to say anything on the issue.

However, he said the PAC would consider steps that werenecessary to avoid repeat of such incidents.

In reply to a question, Joshi said there was no suggestionor proposal before the Committee today to call Sibal forseeking clarification on his remarks.

At a press conference last week, Sibal had described as"utterly erroneous and without any basis" the estimated lossof Rs 1.76 lakh crore arrived at by the CAG on account ofallocation of 2G spectrum to telecom operators.

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