SC response: Govt cautions CAG on loss estimate | delhi | Hindustan Times
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SC response: Govt cautions CAG on loss estimate

A day after the Supreme Court advised that auction cannot be the sole method for allocation of natural resources, the Centre on Friday cautioned the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) against calculating the loss figures in its reports merely based on what price the auction would have fetched.

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2012 02:34 IST
HT Correspondent

A day after the Supreme Court advised that auction cannot be the sole method for allocation of natural resources, the Centre on Friday cautioned the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) against calculating the loss figures in its reports merely based on what price the auction would have fetched.

“The point is that the underlying premise of the CAG reports, the implied benchmark against which loss or presumptive loss was judged, was auction….And to an extent the opinion of the SC says that the auction is not a constitutional mandate or an enshrined constitutional principle in disposing of natural resources,” finance minister P Chidambaram said.

“I sincerely hope that all constitutional authorities in future will bear this in mind while discharging their constitutional function,” the minister said at a press conference, which was also addressed by telecom minister Kapil Sibal and law minister Salman Khurshid.

The Centre, which had been on a backfoot in the wake of its policies being questioned due to a series of scams, views the SC’s response as endorsement of its stand. Taking a dig at the Opposition, Chidambaram said the whole problem was people pointed a finger at the government and said the policy was illegal and irregular.

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, on whose petition the SC had cancelled all the 122 telecom licences in February, said the government was misleading the public about the outcome of the presidential reference.