Govt calls for debate on 2G scam loss figure

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 25, 2012 05:26 hrs

Calling for debate on the presumptive loss figures estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) in the 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tewari, has blamed the sensational figure of Rs 1.76lakh crore for its impact on economic growth.

Talking to media persons here on Saturday, Manish Tewari said debate on 2G spectrum allocation till now was taking place within the confinements of the Public Account Committee(PAC) and Joint parliamentary Committee (JPC) and therefore, earlier, it was not possible to make it public.

"However, a lot of facts have now come out in public and the nation needs to know how the loss figure of Rs 2,645 cr in the draft report by CAG was inflated to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the final report."

"Let there be a public debate and the CAG may choose a public platform of its own choice. Facts should be brought to public."

Tewari also blamed the sensational figure for derailing the Indian growth story.

"The presumptive figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in 2G spectrum allocation," Tewari siad, "was a sensational figure that has created an environment of negativism and mistrust, thus impacting the Indian growth story."

Stating that former CAG official, R P Singh, in his draft report had quantified the estimated loss at Rs 2,645 crore, Tewari questioned how the loss figures were inflated by over 80 times by the CAG, which had, in its final report presumed the loss to be Rs 1.76lakh crore.

Tewari said the entire winter session of Parliament in 2010 was wiped out on the basis of presumptive number put out in the public sphere in an extremely sensational manner by CAG.

Tewari said the government has been repeatedly saying the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore was mythical and not underpinned by substantive method of calculation.

Questioning the calculation of loss derived through the final CAG report, Tewari questioned how the figures multiplied exponentially, compared to figures in draft report .

Tewari also said the CAG estimates of loss was based on 3G auction prices but comparing 3G to 2G is like comparing 'apple with the pears'.

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