2G scam: CBI director contradicts Sibal, wrong to say ‘zero loss’

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NEW DELHI: CBI director A P Singh has contradicted telecom minister Kapil Sibal’s claim that 2G spectrum allocation had caused “zero loss” to the national exchequer as he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Singh was quizzed by members of the committee on various aspects of the 2G spectrum allocation. “As far as he (Singh) has seen the case, to say ‘zero loss’ is wrong,” PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi told a press conference after the meeting.

A member of the Committee said the CBI chief was of the view that it would be “wrong to say that there was zero sum loss in allocation of 2 G spectrum on first-come-first-serve basis.”

This assertion of the CBI chief contradicts Sibal who had claimed that the 2G spectrum allocation had caused “zero loss” to the exchequer and rubbished as “utterly erroneous” the CAG’s calculation that the presumptive loss was to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

The CBI, in its FIR in the 2G case, has said the losses could be to the tune of Rs 22,000 crore.

The CBI Director was asked about the methodology used by the agency to calculate the losses caused by the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocations.

He said he would be unable to accurately quantify the loss to the exchequer as his focus was on unravelling the criminal aspect of the alleged scam.

He told the members that he would get back to the PAC on the matter.

To questions on whether former Telecom Minister Arun Shourie would be called by the PAC, Joshi pointed out that the CBI has already asked him to appear before it on February 21.
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