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RBI Governor appears before PAC on 2G issue

New Delhi: RBI Governor D Subbarao, who was Finance Secretary when the 2G spectrum allocations were made, on Thursday appeared before Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and shared "accurate information" on the controversial issue.

Subbarao, as Finance Secretary, had raised questions over the entry fee for mobile operators ahead of the 2G spectrum allocations that led to the resignation of Telecom Minister A Raja and his subsequent arrest by the CBI.

"The current RBI Governor was the Finance Secretary and he shared accurate information regarding his communications with the Department of Telecom," PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters here.

He said the Committee members held "significant discussions" on the issue but ruled out submission of an interim report on the matter during the Budget Session of Parliament.

He said the Finance Ministry, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Department of Telecom were interconnected and hold consultations before taking any significant decisions.

Joshi refused to give any timeframe for finalisation of the report on the 2G spectrum allocations.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the government had said on the issue of 2G allocation that the finance secretary had raised certain queries on November 27, 2007, regarding the entry fee. A reply to this was given by the telecom secretary on November 29, 2007.

Asked whether he would recommend a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G issue, Joshi said it was not the job of the PAC to make such suggestions.

To a question, he said the PAC had sought some information from the PMO which had been received by them.

Joshi said some telecom companies mentioned in the CAG report have sent their views on the matter and the same have been forwarded to the Department of Telecom for comments.

Asked whether the PAC would ask lobbyist Niira Radia to appear before it, Joshi said any person whose presence would be felt necessary would be called.

"An appropriate decision would be taken at an appropriate time," was his refrain to questions on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s offer to appear before the Committee.

To another question, Joshi said the PAC was yet to get a a reply from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on his complaint against Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal for his controversial remarks on the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocations.

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