Presumptive 2G loss a mathematical guess: Former auditor

November 14th, 2011 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) In a new twist to the alleged 2G scam, R.P. Singh, one of the key authors of the controversial telecom audit report, Monday told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that the presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore in the radiowave allocation was only a “mathematical guess” and inconclusive.

Singh, former director general of audit, post and telecommunication, told members of the multi-party parliamentary probe panel that the loss suffered in the sale of scarce radiowave spectrum was only Rs.2,645 crore, according to JPC chairman P.C. Chacko.

Singh explained to the JPC that his figure of calculating the loss of Rs.2,645 crore was based on opinion as the entry fee decided in 2001 was not revised in 2008.

His figure was based on inflation rate of seven years, Chacko said.

Singh, who was supervising the telecom audit, told the JPC that he had not quantified in his draft report the losses due to non-auctioning of telecom spectrum because it was “unsolicited”.

“Loss because of 2G spectrum could not be calculated because the (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) TRAI had never recommended the auction of 2G spectrum,” Chacko quoted Singh as deposing before the JPC.

“He was categoric it was never possible to calculate the losses,” said Chacko.

The JPC chairman said that Singh was of the opinion that “to show presumptive loss in the 2G report is to bring in individual judgement which is questionable and presumptive loss is a mathematical guess.”

Singh also maintained that revenue optimisation and calculating presumptive loss was “not an audit objective” and it was added later.

Singh had prepared a draft audit report on the 2G telecom pricing in which he hadn’t quantified the exact financial losses due to lack of auctioning of spectrum, but observed that the 2001 pricing policy was not “realistic” in 2008 when the telecom sector had boomed.

The draft report dated May 31, 2010, is now with parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that oversees government’s spending and also examines the CAG reports.

Chacko said Singh signed the final controversial telecom audit report of 2008 because “he was asked to do so by his seniors”.

Singh said he was kept away when the audit report was finalised and he had objected to the points on which he differed. “He was asked to sign the report. He was asked to sign the last page of the report,” Chacko stressed.

The JPC is also scheduled to examine Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, who had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying he had not commented on the government’s policy in the audit report on the alleged 2G scam.

The meeting with Rai was scheduled for Monday but has been postponed by a day.

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