As soon as the government and ruling party UPA raised questions on Comptroller and Auditor General’s estimated loss of 1.76 lakh crore, main opponent Bhartiya Janata Party too brought out its sour reaction on 2G auction failure. BJP blamed government’s policies for low bidding in the spectrum auction. “They (UPA government) first destroyed the telecom sector, a sector which is the real success story of economic liberalisation in India. Having destroyed the market and the sector how would you expect that people would come forward and bid the amounts that you are expecting,” Yashwant Sinha, BJP leader told media persons. “We are not in government; we did not fix those amounts. They are the ones who have fixed the amount. And having destroyed something they are teaching us that we were wrong. They are teaching the CAG, that the CAG was wrong,” Sinha said further.
Earlier however, UPA leaders put blame on CAG. “Mr CAG, where is the 1.76 lakh crore? I think it is time for some serious introspection. It’s time the CAG introspects on his processes and it is high time that the BJP and some of the other opposition parties, which had made this their holy grail and swansong of politics over the last two years, should publicly apologize,” said Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tiwari while speaking to reporters.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh too questioned national auditor’s report on estimate loss in the 2G spectrum allocation in 2001. “The CAG should reconsider how far its estimate was right with regard to the report it had earlier given and the losses that it had computed,” said Singh.
The CAG in year 2010 said that the then Telecom Minister’s A Raja’s stance to give away spectrum at 2001’s rates has caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to nation’s exchequer. Through 2G spectrum auction, the Government was targeting minimum of Rs 28,000 crore as its revenue from the sale of spectrum but received a meager amount of Rs 9,406 crore. The Government’s overall revenue target was Rs 40,000 crore.
The whole process of spectrum auction ended only in two days and none of the players bid for pan India license. Norwegian major Telenor has bagged 6 telecom circles, Vodafone won 14 circles, Videocon won 6, Airtel won only one and Idea bagged all its lost licenses back.