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

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canals, work for 13,889 km ha…

US Air Force expert smells regional security threat following Chandrayaan mission

Counterview Desk
A United States Air Force expert, writing on India’s Chandrayaan -2 mission, has expressed the apprehension that Indian moon probe’s “failure” won’t stop an Asian space race that “threatens regional security.” Affiliated with the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Wendy Whitman Cobb, who is Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, believes like other space powers, India may be “seeking to improve its technology”, but advances can “also bring greater security concerns.”
Currently, admits Cobb, “These efforts have been primarily civilian and peaceful in nature.” However, India’s turn toward the military uses of space, so much so that lately it has been developing its own military satellites providing services such as remote sensing, tracking and communications “with greater frequency” has begun to “concern” the neighbours.
In her disclosure statement to an article published in the e-journal “The Conversation” Cobb, however, states that whatever…

South Gujarat wastewater carrying pipeline damaged, 'harming' farmlands

The pipeline carrying industrial wastewater to the Gulf of Khambhat from Jhagadia industrial estate in Bharuch district has been found to have damaged for the eighth time over the last one and a half months. The crack, says a local environmental organisation, has occurred at Hansot, endangering agricultural farms.

Historic Chikhalda, temples, mosques submerged, activists 'rescue' Gandhi idol

By Medha Patkar
The first farmer of Asia was born in Chikhalda, if one is to believe archaeological researchers. A historic village, 50 percent of its population is of Hindus and 50 percent of Muslims, yet it has always remained peaceful. Chikhalda has struggled to save water, land and people along Narmada river.

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are about 180 units in in the to…