Stormy scenes at PAC meet over 2G scam loss figure

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 11 2011, 10:01am hrs
The vexed question of just how big the 2G scam was came back to haunt the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) office on Monday when some members of Parliaments Public Accounts Committee (PAC) demanded that officials from the CAG be grilled over differing accounts. PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi managed to pacify them, promising to discuss the matter at a separate meeting.

After reports surfaced that there were different opinions within the CAG office on the loss to the exchequer because of the scam, Congress member Sanjay Nirupam wrote to Joshi that the matter be discussed. Nirupam also wrote that he wanted CAG Vinod Rai and senior officials Rekha Gupta and R P Singh to be summoned before the PAC for a grilling. The figure of R1,76,000 crore had been cited as the outer limit of the loss due to the 2G scam, but internal communication apparently showed that there were differences within the CAG on the figure.

This puts the credibility of the entire CAG into question, and the PAC cannot discuss any other CAG report before this matter is sorted out, Nirupam is reported to have said at the stormy meeting on Monday.

At this, Joshi stepped in and said he had received a letter from the CAG as well, but that the matter could be discussed at a separate meeting. Nirupam refused to be pacified after which BJP MP and another PAC member, Prakash Javadekar, pointed out that in the matter of valuations, telecom minister Kapil Sibal should also be summoned. After all, he is the one who said there was a zero loss to the exchequer, said Javadekar.

At this other members, especially non-Congress members, intervened and agreed with Joshis view that the CAG valuation could be discussed later. The meeting then proceeded to take up the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games (CWG).