CAG to appear on 2G spectrum before PAC tomorrow

Last Updated 26 December 2010, 09:47 IST

The PAC, headed by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, will continue with its examination of the controversial allocation of 2G radio waves and Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai is expected to put forth his point-of-view before the panel.

The CAG report has proved to be quite an ammunition for the Opposition, including the BJP and Left parties, to target the government and it is insisting that only a Joint Parliamentary Committee can bring out the truth in what they allege is the "biggest scam in independent India".

The demand for JPC has led to stalemate in Parliament with the government stoutly resisting Opposition's demand.

Monday's meeting assumes added significance with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offering to appear before the Committee. But there has been no official word yet about the Prime Minister making a formal request.

A decision to ask Rai to appear before the powerful parliamentary committee was taken during its last meeting earlier this month. The Committee has already invited views and suggestions on the 2G spectrum allocation.

"Taking into consideration the importance of the subject and the nationwide interest evinced in it, the Committee has decided to invite Memoranda containing views/suggestions from various individuals, experts, associations, institutions, organisations interested in the subject matter," the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a notification.

The CAG has quantified revenue loss to the exchequer at up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore, a development that forced A Raja to quit as the Telecom Minister.

The Committee has been examining the subject "Recent Developments in the Telecom Sector including Allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum" since June and has asked for views within next 15 days.

The PAC has already obtained some valuable information from the DoT, Finance Ministry, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and experts in the telecom sector through oral deposition and written submission.

In its last meeting, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura is understood to have told the panel that all decisions related to spectrum allocation were taken by Raja and he only carried out the orders.

He is understood to have claimed that communication between the PMO and Raja were enough to indicate that decision-making powers were confined only to the minister.

(Published 26 December 2010, 09:05 IST)

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