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CAG Vinod Rai to depose before JPC

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai is expected to explain to the parliamentary panel how the auditor arrived at a presumptive loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore and to counter the figure (loss at Rs 2,645 crore) floated by his former auditor RP Singh. Never questioned govt's policy formulation: CAG to PM

delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2011 12:58 IST

India's top government auditor Vinod Rai will depose before the Joint Parliament Committee (JPC) on Tuesday, a day after his former colleague contradicted the controversial 2G audit report saying the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the radiowave allocation was only a "mathematical guess".

Rai will be asked about the differences of opinion within the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), after RP Singh, one of the key auditors in the 2G case, told the multi-party parliamentary probe panel that the loss suffered in the sale of scarce radiowave spectrum was only Rs 2,645 crore.

Singh, then director general of audit, post and telecommunication, who retired on Aug 31, explained to the JPC that his calculation in a draft audit report was based on inflation rate of seven years as the entry fee decided in 2001 was not revised in 2008.

But the final audit report put the figure at Rs 1.76 lakh crore, calling it presumptive loss on the basis that the scarce telecom spectrum should have been auctioned.

Rai's deposition is significant because he is expected to counter Singh, who also alleged on Monday that he was asked to sign the final audit report even as he disagreed with much of its content.

Vinod Rai has urged the JPC to have Singh present in the meeting when he deposes before the panel.

Appearing before the JPC, Singh said quantification of loss was not part of the objectives of the CAG audit and the final figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore was at best a "mathematical guess".

According to JPC chairperson PC Chacko, the former CAG official maintained that the loss due to allocation of 2G spectrum could not be calculated as auction was neither recommended by the telecom watchdog, TRAI, nor contemplated by the government.

Chacko told reporters after Monday's examination of the former auditor that Singh was of the opinion that "to show presumptive loss in the 2G report is to bring in individual judgement which is questionable".

First Published: Nov 14, 2011 20:32 IST