Giving a clean chit to prime minister Manmohan Singh and noting revenue loss of over Rs 42,000 crore to the state exchequer during the NDA regime, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Tuesday submitted to the Lok Sabha speaker its report on pricing and allocation of telecom licences and spectrum.
The JPC report also found fault with the CAG’s 2G audit report that had calculated loss due to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. The committee absolved the prime minister of any wrongdoing but nailed DMK leader and former telecom minister A Raja for his role in the scam and for misleading prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Outlining the major findings of the report to dna, JPC chairman PC Chacko said: “The migration package... government suffered a loss... we have quantified the loss, which is a major finding. Mr Raja was wrong in making two decisions – changing the FCFS (first come first served) policy and also preponing dates without notifying. Another thing is that the imaginary loss calculated by CAG was ill-founded.”
On the CAG’s audit report, the committee noted, “In the backdrop of the disrepute caused to the nation on account of projection of such astronomical figures in the audit report pitching the country among the most corrupt nations in the world, the Committee in hindsight could only wish that the figures projected in the report could have been more realistic deriving out of proven facts.”
The report also observed that that when the telecom regulator took a consistent stand against spectrum auction and increase in entry fee for new players, “it is astonishing how the audit could consider calculating loss, be it actual or presumptive, on account of allocation of licences and spectrum.”
The JPC in its report held that the (NDA) government in 1999 had to forgo revenue to the tune of Rs 42,080.34 crore in the course of offering migration package as it did not provide for recovery of that amount. Asked if the NDA government was wrong in offering migration package, Chacko said the government did no wrong by offering migration package but was wrong in foregoing revenue of over Rs 42,000 crore.
The final report
The report adopted by a 16-11 majority was finalised in 57 sittings of the committee. The JPC was constituted on March 4, 2011 after the CAG report highlighted a loss of around Rs 1.76 lakh crore. The report also includes six seven dissent notes by 12 members including a joint note from six BJP leaders.