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2G scam: CAG willing to appear before JPC again

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of dispute over the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in 2G spectrum allocation, CAG Vinod Rai has offered to appear before the JPC looking into the 2G scam once again.

Rai recently wrote to JPC offering to make himself along with his officials "available" whenever their "assistance" is sought. Rai, along with other officials of the Comptroller and Auditor General, had appeared before the JPC on May 30 to brief the panel on CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation.

The CAG said that his officials have made "earnest effort" to supply the JPC with all the documents and records sought by it on the issue. Meanwhile, Rai and his deputy Rehka Gupta will explain to Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday on how the CAG arrived at the Rs 1.76 lakh crore figure.

R P Singh, former Director General of Audit (Post and Telecommunications), was the lead auditor in 2G spectrum allocation and had reportedly disputed the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Singh had reportedly said the losses were to the tune of Rs 2,645 crore only. Singh, who has since retired, has been separately called as a witness before the PAC tomorrow.

In a letter to PAC, Singh has maintained that under RTI, information was sought by an applicant requiring copies of correspondence between him and office of the CAG.  "In this context, I am to state that I just complied with the RTI Act…I have not appeared for any interview to media, print or electronic…" he said.

He also forwarded the draft audit report and other related documents to the PAC. The decision to seek explanation from CAG and to call R P Singh as a witness was taken after Congress member Sanjay Nirupam demanded that Singh should be called to explain the difference.

Hours ahead of the PAC meeting on October 10, the Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi also received a letter from Rai who expressed readiness to explain the methodology used for estimating the losses due to the controversial allocation of 2G radiowaves.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary R S Gujral and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs R Gopalan are likely to appear before the JPC tomorrow to explain why the controversial March 25 note, which allegedly indicated that had then Finance Minister P Chidambaram insisted on auctioning of 2G spectrum, the scam could have been prevented, was not made available to the panel.

In a rare move, the JPC had also decided to write to the Department of Telecom, Cabinet Secretariat, Ministries of Finance, Law and Corporate Affairs, the Planning Commission as well as the Prime Minister`s Office to provide with "all relevant information" available with them pertaining to the 2G issue and submit affidavits in this regard.

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