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Former CAG official questions Rs 1.76 lakh cr 2G spectrum loss

November 23, 2012 08:58 IST

Giving another twist to the 2G spectrum allocation controversy, a former comptroller and auditor general official has questioned the CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

"After completing the audit of the ministry of telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect. My report did not contain any loss figure," said former director general of CAG R P Singh.

He added that his report carried "two types of figures which indicate the less recovery" based on Rs 1,658 crore that was charged for giving out pan-India licences along with spectrum.

"Another figure I had indicated, not as exactly as a loss, but the amount that can be recovered . I found some people having more spectrum than what is provided under a contractual agreement," Singh said in an interview.

He said that his report mentioned that Rs 37,000 crore can be recovered from those holding excess spectrum.

The CAG report, which was tabled in Parliament in November 2010, had pegged the revenue loss to the exchequer on account of allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008 at whooping Rs 1.76 lakh crore, raising a political storm that led to sacking of then telecommunications minister A Raja and setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the issue.

The controversy over 2G spectrum allocation also led to the cancellation of 122 licences by the Supreme Court.

The issue took a different turn when the recently concluded auction of 2G spectrum evoked a lukewarm response and the government managed to garner only Rs 9,407 crore.

Several central ministers including Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal had described the CAG's loss estimate of Rs 1.76 lakh crore as "mythical".

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