Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Apr 29, 2011
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



National

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

‘Chidambaram failed to take action'

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Apart from coming down heavily on the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Cabinet Secretariat and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the draft report on 2G scam circulated by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi to the panel members on Wednesday has also rapped the then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, and his Ministry for failing to take action against those responsible for causing loss to the exchequer.

The report has deplored the fact that Mr. Chidambaram at the time of grant of telecom licences in 2008, recommended to the Prime Minister to “treat the matter as closed.”

‘Shocked and dismayed'

The draft report, which has since been “rejected” by the majority of the PAC members belonging to the Congress and its allies, said: “The committee are shocked and dismayed to note that the Finance Minister, in his note dated 15 {+t} {+h} January, 2008, acknowledged that Spectrum is a scarce resource and the price of Spectrum should be based on its scarcity value and efficiency of usage but made a unique and condescending suggestion that the matter be treated as closed.”

“The committee view it most unfortunate that the Finance Minister, the guardian of the public exchequer, and entrusted with the principal task of mobilisation of resources for public welfare, instead of initiating stringent and swift action against all those responsible for the whopping loss to the exchequer, pleaded with the Prime Minister to treat the matter closed,” the report went on to say.

The draft report also sought to blame the then Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary for his “deficiency and failure” in bringing the matter to the notice of the Cabinet Secretary or even in writing to the Finance Minister even after the irregularities became public.

In a detailed account of the sequence of events pertaining to non-compliance of the Cabinet decision on the spectrum issue, the role of the Finance Ministry and what transpired after the DoT Secretary's letter dated November 29, 2007, the draft report said the former Secretary of (DEA) admitted that there was no exchange of correspondence thereafter, but certainly discussions went on.

The report went on to say, “Asked to furnish documentary evidence, he [DEA Secretary] said that everything was not reduced in writing in the government, though it was professionally inappropriate, but due to pressure of work it so happened. He further submitted that though things did appear in the papers about the happenings in the DoT, the DEA was not sure that the licences would be issued on a particular date. He failed to recall any reference made by him to the Cabinet Secretariat but admitted he should have briefed the Finance Minister. He also admitted lack of due diligence by the Ministry of Finance in the matter.”

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



National

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2011, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu