2G loss was pegged at Rs 4 lakh crore, I toned it down: CAG Vinod Rai NEW DELHI: A defiant comptroller and auditor general on Tuesday rebutted claims that
Message 1 of 1
, Dec 17 2:56 PM
2G loss was pegged at Rs 4 lakh crore, I toned it
down: CAG Vinod Rai
NEW DELHI: A defiant comptroller
and auditor general on Tuesday rebutted claims that he had overruled his
subordinates who put the loss from the 2G scam at just Rs
2,600 crore to project the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Vinod Rai
emphasized that he had actually toned down an initial estimate that valued the
loss to the exchequer at more than Rs 4 lakh crore.
Appearing before the joint parliamentary committee after his former colleague R P Singh told
the panel that he did not subscribe to the estimate - one of the three arrived
by CAG in its report
- of Rs 1,76,000 crore loss, Rai strongly defended his report.
Rai, who took the unusual step of writing to PM Manmohan Singh
after the latter criticized CAG for wading into policy issues and addressing
press conferences, made it clear that he was not fazed by Congress's charges.
He said the auditor faced similar criticism when it highlighted irregularities
in the purchase of Bofors guns by a Congress regime or the conduct of Kargil
war under the BJP-led NDA government.
Rai's reference to the May 2010 letter undercuts Congress's claim that CAG overruled
R P Singh to jack up the 2G scam estimate to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Rai said
different estimates, ranging from Rs 48,000 crore to Rs 4.19 lakh crore, figured in the
three-stage audit process CAG used to assess 2G scam loss.
"Several figures of loss ranging from Rs 2,645 crore to Rs 4.19 lakh crore
were projected at different stages. Final decision is that of the CAG,"
Playing down criticism coming from the ruling party, Rai said CAG was always attacked
when it came out with a hard-hitting report. "In the purchase of Bofors
guns, the then CAG T N Chaturvedi and the government had
difference of opinion in the year 1989," Rai said. This was repeated when
CAG came out with its report on Operation Vijay. "There was major
criticism of CAG by the executive. Such was the criticism that the then PAC
chairman N D Tiwari had offered to resign on February 20, 2007 if the dignity
of the office of the CAG could not be maintained," he pointed out.
department is obliged to say things which are embarrassing to the government
but it is the duty of its officers, on account of their greater loyalty to the
country, to act as a check even on the government," Rai
told the JPC. He would always tell his officers "not to shrink from truth for fear of offending men in high places".
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