Sat, Dec 10, 2016 | updated 08:13 PM IST

Congress scathingly responds to Jaitley's 'Empty Rhetoric' remark

Updated: Jul 09, 2016 14:46 IST

New Delhi, July 9 (ANI): Days after alleging that the incumbent NDA regime is involved in a staggering Rs.45000-crore telecom scam, the Congress Party has again targeted the Centre, accusing it of overlooking a report on the matter prepared by the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Responding to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Facebook post, wherein he had described the Congress charge as a mere case of "Empty Rhetoric", party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a series of five tweets asked the Centre as to why it was not upholding the findings of a constitutional authority like CAG instead of stalling the recovery of large sums for the public exchequer that lies in the realm of financial prudence.

"The government is overlooking the CAG report and has appointed an internal panel of accountants. Whether it is a grotesque breach of public trust by the BJP government, which in the past, has made a national loss pegged by CAG in telecom sector a major issue of transparency and corruption? What is the government's plan to recover 'Actual Losses'?" he said in a series of tweets.

The Congress spokesperson alleged that the government was acting as a willful collaborator to the select entities in artfully dodging recovery of massive sums of money due to public exchequer vis-a-vis being a trustee of public interest.

"Is this the way to minimize fiscal deficit?" he said.

"Why is Modi Government maintaining a conspicuous silence in the matter becoming virtually comatose despite the mammoth size of financial sums involved?" he asked.

Sujrewala asked, "Who benefits from the delaying strategy and why? Is this the new 'governance' model?"

In a Facebook post, Jaitley said that the Congress Party has run out of ideas.

"It has perfected the art of scoring self-goals. The latest example is the Press Conference that its Spokesperson held on 7th July 2016 alleging a telecom scam of Rs.46,000 crores.

Under the well established policy of Government of India, telecom service providers pay to the Government of India license fee and spectrum user charges on a revenue sharing basis," he said.

" A CAG Report of February 2016 has stated that the six telephone providers, between the period 2006-07 to 2009-10, have under reported their revenues to the extent of Rs.46,000 crores, thereby depleting the share of the Union Government in license fee and spectrum user charges by about Rs.5000 crores," he added.

The Finance Minister further informed that the CAG report was received by the Telecom Department in February this year and its supporting documents were received in June 2016.

"The same are now being scrutinized so that the telecom department can take further action in the matter. As per Parliamentary procedure, the CAG Report is now pending before the Public Accounts Committee," he said.

"The pertinent question is how is this a scam of the NDA Government? The under reporting by the telecom service providers relates to the period when UPA was in power. The UPA Government, under its very nose, allowed this under reporting. The Final CAG report pointed it out in February 2016 and only 3 weeks ago have the documents been sent by the CAG to the Telecom Department. Notwithstanding the fact that the issue is pending before the PAC, the Telecom Department, which is processing these documents, will take action. What is act of omission and commission by the present Government? An impropriety took place during the UPA Government for which the present Government will take action," he added.

Jaitley further said that the baseless allegations indicated at the pathetic plight of the Congress Party.

"The question, however, is the pathetic plight of the Congress party. Notwithstanding the fact that this impropriety took place during the UPA Government, the Congress Spokesman made an empty noise about this being an NDA Telecom Scam. Shrillness, non-application of mind and a belligerent rhetoric seem to be the strategy of the Congress party. It is a pity that the Party has been pushed to this desperation," he said. (ANI)