Oppn members in JPC grill former CAG auditor
Opposition members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), on the 2G allocation scam and related matters, on Tuesday grilled former lead auditor of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) R P Singh over his position vis-a-vis the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Singh had disputed the estimated quantum of loss.
Deposing before the committee for a second time, Singh, who retired as the Director-General, Audit (Post and Telecommunication) of the CAG on August 31, 2011, contended the presumptive loss was not part of the internationally accepted accounting code. He had appeared for the committee earlier on November 14 last year.
The six BJP members on the parliamentary panel had demanded he be called afresh. The former CAG official, according to them, had hidden facts and made contradictory statements to the media later.
BJP's Yashwant Sinha and CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta asked Singh how could he disown the CAG report when it was he who had issued guidelines to field staff for its preparation. The former CAG official, in his response, cited a circular which stated that he was to provide inputs to the headoffice which would prepare the report after collating data. As for the presumptive loss, his case was that he had deleted the relevant paragraph in the draft. However, the headoffice later included it in the final report.
The members pointed out that he had also made a presentation on the CAG report before the PAC on December 27, 2010. Singh said he was just a part of the team of auditors. He claimed he was made to sign the report one evening and told to send it across to the Telecom Ministry and Finance Ministry the next day by 10 am.
Sinha told him that in that case he could have refused to sign the report. Singh said he had to comply with the orders of his superiors. Sinha then said Singh was not dependable. As the atmosphere got tense, committee chief P C Chacko stepped in to calm Sinha.
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