Ex-CAG official sticks to his stand on 2G loss before JPC

Former top Comptroller and Auditor General official RP Singh today appeared before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the second generation (2G) spectrum scam and is reported to have stuck to his stand that the presumptive loss in the radiowave allocation was only Rs2,645 crore

New Delhi: Former top Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) official RP Singh today appeared before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the second generation (2G) spectrum scam and is understood to have stuck to his stand that the presumptive loss in the radiowave allocation was only Rs2,645 crore, reports PTI.

CAG’s ex-director general (audit), Mr Singh, who was cross-examined by members of the JPC, is also learnt to have maintained that revenue optimisation was not an ‘audit objective’ and it was added as one of the objectives later.

According to a UPA leader, who is a JPC member, Mr Singh told the committee that the loss could not be quantified since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) did not take a decision on auction of spectrum and the Union Cabinet also decided on the same lines.

The opposition maintains that it was Mr Singh who had earlier explained to the Public Accounts Committee how the figure of Rs1.76 lakh crore loss was arrived at by the CAG.

These parties have sought to know whether Mr Singh was right in his earlier stand or on his revised position.

Asked whether he stuck to his figure of Rs2,645 crore loss in 2G spectrum allocation, Mr Singh told reporters, “I stuck to my point.”

BJP and other opposition parties are not convinced with Mr Singh’s position on the loss to the exchequer in the 2G spectrum scam.

Mr Singh, who was also summoned by PAC during its last meeting, was prevented from presenting his case when the Congress members demanded that CAG Vinod Rai should recuse himself as the former director general (audit) may not be able to express himself freely in front of his former boss.

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COMMENTS

Rajan Alexander

5 years ago

More and more a BJP conspiracy to defame the UPA government is coming clear.

a. A lead author's written over by the Vineet Rai-Rekha Gupta duo; he is not given a copy of the report carrying his name as the lead author but asked to sign in the last page of the report!

b. The lead author wants to incorporate the views of DoT but denied permission, reasons not elaborated.

c. The reason why spectrum was not auctioned as a policy was market penetration as in the case of the NDA tenure. So opportunity cost is a theoretical figure assuming if the policy was different and spectrum was auctioned. That this was raised as India's greatest scam is laughable.

While common people got conned on the so called 2G Spectrum scan, they were not intelligent enough to ask what will happen to their per minute mobile costs if spectrum was indeed auction and for the value - Rs 144,000 crores which CAG estimates. This would have made mobiles a luxury service for the super rich with per call per minute at least Rs 16. Without paying spectrum charges, companies like Reliance is running in the red, trying to recoup their investment. Imagine if they had to recoup spectrum costs.

India has one of the cheapest mobile rates in the world and those of us who travel abroad knows this too well. Instead of celebrating cheap rates, we fall for a conspiracy to call it a scam!

It is another matter whether Raja gave more spectrum to companies than they were entitled to; whether companies were favoured in allotment; whether ineligible companies got allotment - all procedural questions.

Auditors are suppose to be watchdogs but they act like pets - we have Arthur Anderson in case of Enron; Price Water Cooper in Satyam and the latest being Deloitte Touche colluding with clients to commit public fraud. This is first time when two individuals cooked their reports to favour the interests of the opposition BJP.



Tata Motors Q2 net profit falls 16% at Rs1,877.33 crore

The company attributed the decline to a forex loss of Rs439 crore in reporting quarter compared to a gain of Rs127 crore in the same period last year

New Delhi: Tata Motors today reported 15.55% decline in its consolidated net profit for the second quarter ended 30th September at Rs 1,877.33 crore due to forex losses, reports PTI.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs2,222.99 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, Tata Motors said in a statement.

Total income from operations during the quarter, however, increased by 26.92% to Rs36,197.54 crore from Rs28,519.22 crore in the year-ago period, it added.

The company said it suffered a forex loss of Rs439 crore in last quarter compared to a gain of Rs127 crore in the same period last year.

The shares of the company closed 2.09% down at Rs177.90 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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DoT seeks law ministry views on 3G roaming agreements

DoT’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing had earlier said that the 3G inter-operator arrangements between the licensee should not be treated as roaming arrangement. It should be treated as sharing of spectrum which is not permitted under the agreements signed with the DoT

New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) has sought views of the law ministry whether the mobile operators who bought third generation (3G) spectrum in government auction are circumventing their licensing conditions by leasing out the advance radio waves among themselves, reports PTI.

"Legal advisor (telecom) may also offer his views on the legal appropriation on the case (3G roaming agreement),” a senior Department of Telecom (DoT) official said in an internal note.

Major service providers including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular have entered into 3G roaming alliances in their bid to offer high-end data services on a pan-India basis.

In a similar deal with Tata Teleservices, Aircel offers 3G services in six circles.

However, their moves did not go well with the DoT which feels that these inter-operator alliances violate terms and conditions of the third generation (3G) spectrum agreements which were singed in June last year following high-bid auctions.

The DoT took up the issue after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had prima-facie come to conclusion that such agreements are in violation of the terms and conditions of the telecom licences.

Earlier, DoT’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing, which keeps an eye on industry players, had also said that the 3G inter-operator arrangements between the licensee should not be treated as roaming arrangement. It should be treated as sharing of spectrum which is not permitted under the agreements signed with the DoT, the note added.

The WPC, a DoT wing, had also warned that the move by the service providers would result in revenue loss to the exchequer.

Defending the 3G roaming agreements between telecom operators, the GSM lobby Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had said they did not violate the Unified Access Services Licence (UASL) under which service providers can offer all services.

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