Amid allegations and counter-allegations over the Comptroller and Auditor General's figure of presumptive losses in 2G allocation, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday demanded that the CAG explain the issue to clear the air over the matter.
"The nation needs to know how Rs 2,645 crore of loss (in 2G allocation) turned into a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. It can happen only if the CAG is prepared to debate the entire 2G report on an open public platform of their own choosing," the minister said, noting that the confused public has the right to know the truth.
"Let there be a public debate. Let CAG answer because these sensational figures have derailed the Indian story in the last two years. The (2G report) has made public discourse extremely vitiated," he said.
Tewari claimed that former CAG official R P Singh, in his draft report, had written that the loss on 2G spectrum allocation because-of-first-come-first-served basis -- was only
Rs 2,645 crore.
"Since in principle it was decided that spectrum allocation was not to be auctioned, the loss estimation was not possible," he said..
"Now the question arises, how did Rs 2,645 crore loss balloon to Rs 1.76 lakh crore," he said.
He said the debate on 2G spectrum allocation had taken place in the confines of the Public Accounts Committee or Joint Parliamentary Committee.
"But because of privilege (attached with the PAC), we are constrained not to make them public. Since so many facts have come out in public space, we want to request the CAG to hold an open debate over the 2G report," he said.
Tewari also accused PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi of "forcing" the CAG to come out with the figures which have been questioned by the CAG official, who was also asked to sign on the report, even though he did not agree with it.
He alleged that the PAC chairman had also forced the CAG to expedite the report so that it could be presented in the monsoon session of Parliament.