Info-tech

DoT wing says CAG did not wait for its response on 2G

New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2011 Published on January 11, 2011

In a fresh tact to wriggle out of the 2G spectrum controversy, the Department of Telecom's (DoT) licensing wing has taken a view that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had tabled the report on 2G spectrum without giving it ample time to respond to all the allegations.

The DoT's wing has taken a position that it could not fully respond to CAG's questions because all the relevant files linked to 2G were with the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“As the related files are in the custody of CBI, it was not possible for this office to respond properly within the stipulated time and hence audit was requested for more time to send a reply after receipt of the concerned files from the CBI. Meanwhile, without waiting for our further response in the matter, the CAG submitted their Performance Audit Report on November 11,” stated an internal note from the Access Services wing of the DoT. The Access Service wing is responsible for licensing and has been told by the DoT to file an Action Taken Report on the CAG findings.

Explaining the sequence of events an internal note of the DoT stated that the CAG had sent its draft report on July 19, 2010 for comments. The DoT sent its detailed reply on July 27 subject to reservation of its rights to modify the responses after the relevant files are received back from the CBI. Thereafter on September 23, the CAG sent further queries pertaining to licences issued to ineligible companies and gave the DoT one month to respond. The DoT is claiming that it could not stick to this deadline as the files were with CBI.

The DoT wing is also taking cover for the delay in sending its action taken report on grounds that it was short staffed with only one director and a section officer.

This is not the first time DoT has taken on the CAG on the 2G issue. Earlier, it had sent a letter to the auditor saying that the CAG did not have powers to question Government policy. Last week, the DoT again rubbished the allegations of losses to the national exchequer made by the CAG.

> tkt@thehindu.co.in

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Published on January 11, 2011
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