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2G: JPC STUCK FOR WANT OF PAPERS!

09:04 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

OUR BUREAU New Delhi The Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G scam was stuck on Monday for want of the governmentalt39s action taken report ( ATR) and the Department of Telecom ( DoT) response to draft report the CAG sent before finalising its report.

The JPC members were utterly confused from Raialt39s presentation as to which figure it should accept as the loss suffered by the government from the licences and spectrum given by arrested telecom minister A Raja.

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Rai insisted that different yardsticks as per the audit methodology worldwide threw up different figures.

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Members also sought reminder to DoT to work out the losses in the NDA governmentalt39s 1999 decision to migrate from fixed to revenue sharing as the CAG alleged losses because of the decision but did not quantify them for want of up- todate figures.

LONG LIST: Though the JPC is mandated to give its report to the Lok Sabha Speaker before the end of Parliamentalt39s monsoon session, i. e. by third or fourth week of August, its Chairman P C Chacko indicated a Herculean task as members have given a very long list of persons to be examined. He dropped a hint that the JPC may have to seek extension at least up to December.

Explaining why Rai was not quizzed further, Chacko said the CAG always sends its draft report to the concerned department for its comments and hence it is vital to know how DoT reacted to its calculation of losses as also what was the governmentalt39s ATR on the final CAG report that created the nationwide hue and cry over the biggest ever loss to the exchequer.

POLICY ANGLE: He said Rai will be summoned again after the documents are made available, but not in the next meetings fixed on June 7 and 8 as the JPC will spend full day on June 7 with the CBI chief A P Singh and quiz the officials of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Revenue the next day. The CBI has already submitted its status report that has yet another loss figure different from those of the CAG, Chacko said.

The policy angle is vital since all four CAG reports on DoT submitted in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2010 have the policy angle as they concern the policy decisions taken in 1998 and 2003 by the BJP government and further by the UPA government.

The question of the recommendation of the regulatory authority, TRAI, recommending not to auction spectrum of 800, 900 and 1800 mhz also figured during the hearing on Monday.

Panel members also sought reminder to DoT to work out the losses in the NDA governmentalt146s 1999 decision to migrate from fixed to revenue sharing

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