CAG to discuss spectrum scam with PAC today

The committee, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, will hear from Vinod Rai his views on the allocation of spectrum.

The CAG, in his report concerning allocation of 2G spectrum in January 2008, had inferred that the exchequer had suffered nearly Rs 1,76,000 crores in losses as a result of under selling the spectrum waves.

The report provided ammunition to opposition parties—including the BJP and the Left—to target the government. The parties are not settling for anything less than the joint parliamentary committee probe which they believe is the only way to find out the truth in the "biggest scam in post-independent India."

Added significance

In the light of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before the committee, the meeting on Monday has some added significance.  However, there has been no word yet whether the prime minister has formally requested the committee about his appearance.

The decision to invite the Comptroller and Auditor General of India was made when the parliamentary committee met earlier this month. It had 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 or suggestions from various individuals, experts, associations, institutions, organisations interested in the subject matter," the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a notification.

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 the next 15 days.

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

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