Amid allegations and counter-allegations over CAG's figure of presumptive losses in 2G allocation, Union minister Manish Tewari today demanded that the CAG explain the issue to clear the air over the matter.
"The nation needs to know how Rs2,645 crore of loss (in 2G allocation) turned a presumptive loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore. It can happen only if CAG is prepared to debate the entire 2G report on an open public platform of their own choosing," the information and broadcasting minister said, noting that the confused public has the right to know the truth.
"Let there be a public debate. Let CAG come and answer because these sensational figures have derailed Indian story in the last two years. The (2G report) has made public discourse extremely vitiated," he said.
Tewari claimed that former CAG official RP Singh, in his draft report, had written that the loss on 2G spectrum allocation because of first come first served basis was only Rs2,645 crore. "Since in principle it was decided that the spectrum allocation was not to be auctioned, the loss estimation was not possible," the Lok Sabha MP from Ludhiana said at a press conference here.
"Now the question arises, how Rs2,645 crore loss ballooned to Rs1.76 lakh crore," he said.
He said that the debate on 2G spectrum allocation had taken place in the confines of Public Accounts Committee or Joint Parliamentary Committee. "But because of privilege (attached with PAC), we are constrained not to make them public. Since so many facts have come out in public space, we want to request CAG to hold open debate over 2G report," he said.
Tewari also accused PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi of "forcing" the CAG to come out with the figures which have been questioned by the CAG official, who was also asked to sign on the report even though he did not agree with it.
He alleged that the PAC Chairman had also forced the CAG to expedite the report so that it could be presented in the Monsoon session of Parliament itself.