Skip to main content

Modi bailout to Telecom cos? CAG plea to "recover" Rs 12,500 crore set aside, alternative audit reportedly ordered

By Our Representative
In a move which is being described as a massive effort to bail out top private telecom giants, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata and Aircel, the Government of India has “set aside” a crucial Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) finding which talked of “understatement/underreporting” of income by them to the tune of Rs 46,045.75 crore.
CAG's finding was for four years, 2006-07 to 2009-10, when the UPA ruled, and said that as a result "understatement/underreporting" an amount of Rs 12,488.93 crore had remained “unrecovered” by the government. This did not include penalty and other relevant taxes.
Setting aside CAG's findings, facts have been brought to light suggesting that the Modi government has opted out of the CAG finding, even as setting up “alternative re-evaluation” of these companies through chartered accountants, who are empaneled with it.
Calling it a major scam, the Congress, in a statement issued by its spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil, said, because of the failure to recover the amount at a time when the six telecom companies have considerably increased their “business, consumer base and income”, the total amount unrecovered over the last five years – 2010-11 to 2015-16 – would have crossed Rs 45,000 crore.
The allegation, which comes ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, beginning on July 18, calls this as a clear example of how the Narendra Modi government is “aiming to help crony capitalists”, even if it means a huge loss to government coffers.
The Congress called this as yet another NDA scam following Lalit Modigate, Vyapam Scam, Chhattisgarh PDS Scam, Gujarat GSPC Scam, Vijay Mallya escapade, Gir Lion Sanctuary Land Allotment Scam, Chhattisgarh Priyadarshni Bank Scam, Panama Papers Scam, and Fair and Lovely Black Money Amnesty Scam.
Gohil said in his statement said, “To get a sense of the amount, it is more than the amount the Central government spends on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), drought relief or farmer welfare.”
“Surreptitious step being taken by Modi government to protect the interest of six leading Telecom Companies by helping them avoid the payment of charges rightfully owed to public exchequer is glaringly apparent”, the statement said.
The statement claimed, “CAG initiated an audit of the six telecom companies for four years at the instructions of the Congress-led UPA government. It specifically looked at underreporting of income and non-uniform method of accounting adopted by various telecom companies and consequent lack of obligation to pay outstanding licence fee and Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC).”
“This audit by CAG was stalled/delayed due to a challenge before the courts regarding jurisdiction of CAG to audit accounts of private telecom companies”, the statemnet said, adding, “The Supreme Court transferred all the matters before it and rejected the claims of telecom companies vide judgment dated April 17, 2014 and permitted CAG to audit the accounts.”
Pointing out that the CAG report, submitted to the NDA government on March 11, 2016, the statement said, the Modi government has now adopted the “methodology” of “inordinately” delaying the process of recovery, adding, it has, in fact, decided to write off the unrecovered amount “entirely.”

Comments

S. RAJARAMAN said…
We should not accept anything based on the views of Congress as they are the principal party who brought India to an abysmal level. Remove Congresswalas, India will shine.

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Corporatizing Indian agriculture 'to enhance' farmer efficiency, market competitiveness

By Shashank Shukla*  Today, amidst the ongoing farmers' protest, one of the key demands raised is for India to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Let us delve into the feasibility of such a move and explore its historical context within India's globalization trajectory.

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Livelihood issues return to national agenda ahead of LS polls: SKM on Bharat Bandh

Counterview Desk  Top farmers' network, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed big success of Grameen Bharat Bandh and industrial /sectoral strikes, stating, the “struggle reflected anger of farmers, workers and rural people across India”, adding, the move on February 16 succeeded in bringing back peoples’ livelihood issues in the national agenda just ahead of the general election to the Lok Sabha.

How retraints were imposed on academic freedom on the IIM-Ahmedabad campus

By Sandeep Pandey*  This is the seventh consecutive academic year when I would have gone as a visiting faculty member to the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad to teach an Elective course on Transformational Social Movements to the second year of Post Graduate Programme students. But the invitation has not come so far and it looks like it is the end of my teaching stint at IIM, at least, so long as the Bhartiya Janata Party remains in power at the centre.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there.