SME Times News Bureau | 16 Nov, 2012
day after the much-hyped 2G spectrum auction turned out to be a damp squib,
both the UPA government and the Congress Thursday questioned the Comptroller
and Auditor General Vinod Rai's claim of estimated loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore
in the spectrum allocation in 2008.
The 2G spectrum auction Wednesday yielded only Rs.9,407 crore, much below
Rs.40,000 crore the government expected.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari asked Rai why the spectrum
auction yield was nowhere close to his estimated loss.
"Mr. CAG, where is the Rs.1.76 lakh crore? I think it is time for some
serious introspection. It's time the CAG introspects on his processes and it is
high time that the BJP and some of the other opposition parties, which had made
this their holy grail and swan song of politics over the last two years, should
publicly apologise," Tewari told reporters.
Taking a dig at the CAG, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said:
"The CAG should reconsider how far its estimate was right with regard to
the report, which it had earlier given and the losses that it had
Singh sought to dismiss the suggestion that the auction yielding less revenue
this time is a reflection of disenchantment of telecom companies with the
The BJP and the Left criticised the government's reaction.
"The government keeps looking for ways to attack constitutional bodies
like the CAG which are acting in an independent manner," BJP
vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Nilotpal Basu said: "If the
government argues like that, it will only be the Devil's advocate. Because, you
will always have to remind yourself of the fact that the then telecom minister
A. Raja gave out 122 licenses for Rs.9,200 crore."
"The 22 licenses which were out on auction this time have already fetched
more than what they had got for all the 122 licenses then," he said.
According to the CAG, former telecom minister A. Raja's decision to allocate
spectrum in 2010 at 2001 prices had caused a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh
crore to the exchequer.