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Congress alleges Rs 45,000-crore telecom scam

Congress has alleged a staggering Rs 45,000-crore telecom scam and that Modi government was “surreptitiously taking steps” to protect the interests of six leading telecom companies which owe the money to the public exchequer.

“Latest is a staggering Telecom Scam of approximately Rs 45,000 crore plus that is being buried under the carpet by Modi Sarkar”, party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala alleged at a joint press conference with party spokespersons Shaktisinh Gohil and RPN Singh.

Meanwhile, the government has rubbished Congress charges of Rs 45,000-crore telecom scam, saying the CAG report on understatement of revenue by six telecom firms pertains to UPA period from 2006-07 to 2009-10 and it has initiated the process of recovering the money from firms like Bharti, RComm and Vodafone

The telecom companies named by Surjewala are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata and Aircel. Replying to a question whether Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was this week shifted to Law and Justice Ministry from Telecom was involved, Surjewala claimed that what has happened in the matter cannot take place “without the direct or indirect concurrence” of the Prime Minister and it would be “improper” to blame any one minister.

The Congress leaders said that the CAG initiated an audit of the six telecom companies for four years from 2006-07 to 2009-10 at the instructions of the Congress-led UPA government. It specifically looked at under reporting 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).

In its report submitted this year, the CAG found an alleged understatement/underreporting of income by the six companies of Rs.46,045.75 crore in the four years. “Resultantly, the CAG found that there was an amount of Rs.12,488.93 crore, which remains un-recovered by the government. This does not include penalty, if any, and other relevant taxes.

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