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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.

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