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2G: CAG Vinod Rai to appear before PAC today

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 27, 2010 09:11 IST
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The Comptroller and Auditor General, whose report on a presumed loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in 2G spectrum allocation created a storm in Parliament, will appear before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday.

The PAC, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party 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 Dr Manmohan Singh offering to appear before the committee. But there has been no official word yet about the PM 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 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 PAC has already obtained some valuable information from the telecom department, finance ministry, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and experts in the telecom sector through oral deposition and written submission.

In its last meeting, Siddharth Behura, former telecom secretary 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.
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