The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday termed the Congress-led Union Government's approach and attitude to the telecom scam as completely dishonest.
"In the matter of 2G scam, the government has been dishonest. When this matter came to court and the scam was exposed, most senior ministers dubbed the loss as 'zero'. Questions have been rising on the authenticity of 2G-spectrum auction. I am sure that the revenue generated this time will certainly be more than what was generated in the last auction. It is evident that the allocation, the last time it happened was inappropriate," said senior BJP leader Balbir Punj.
However, the Congress party defended itself and even questioned the loss assessed by the CAG.
General Secretary of Congress party, Digvijaya Singh, said: "The CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) should contemplate and rethink the amount of loss it showed in its reports. It should also re-estimate the losses."
The 2G scam involved ministers, lawmakers and government officials, who undercharged mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses.
Meanwhile, Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that the recent spectrum auction has been done transparently without critiquing anyone or the federal government vindicating its stand on the issue.
"It is part of commercial business to allow the market to play itself out and governmental wisdom should only interfere in the market process to ensure that there are no aberrations. Other than that, it should allow the market to play itself out. That has always been our position. It is not a question of vindication of our position or being critical of someone else's position," said Sibal.
Further he noted that the common intent of the government and telecom companies is to serve the common man.
"Therefore you should allow those who are charged with the responsibility to try and understand these dynamics, because even we do not understand these dynamics. There are a lot of factors in the context of these dynamics that we also ourselves do not understand. So, in a sense we are all trying to figure out what is the best way to serve the common man. That is our intent; that is our commitment, that is the government's passion and that is what we will do in the times to come," added Sibal.
The shortfall between the money collected and the money which the law mandated to be collected was estimated to be 176,645 crore rupees by Comptroller and Auditor General of India 2010. However the exact loss is disputed.
In a charge sheet filed on April 2, 2011 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the agency pegged the loss at 30,984.55 crore rupees, whereas the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India claims that the government actually gained rupees 3,000 crore (598.5 million dollars) by selling the spectrum. (ANI)