Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday hit out at Congress over its allegation of a Rs.45,000 crore telecom scam with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was Telecom Minister before the reshuffle, calling it “utterly bogus” saying it related to the period when the UPA was in power.
“Congress needs to understand that there is no underreporting case under the NDA government. It is a case of sin of the Congress-led UPA government,” Prasad said, insisting that the government will recover all the dues with penalty from these telecom firms.
“The entire allegation of Congress party is utterly bogus. It relates to period of between 2006-10. According to CAG reports some telecom companies underreported their revenues. The reports came in March, which I am given to understand, is under the examination of the Public Accounts Committee,” he said.
Prasad said the telecom department had sought details of documents from the CAG and received them in June this year.
“After due assessment all the dues shall be recovered with penalty. Telecom service providers are obliged to pay license fee and spectrum usage charges on the revenue earned by them. Any underreported revenue shall be recovered with penalty,” he said.
The BJP also attacked the Congress calling it was a case of pot calling the kettle black as the underreporting had happened during the UPA and alleged that Congress spokespersons were putting out “lies” in their briefings.
“Such allegations are laughable. It shows the mental bankruptcy of the Congress. No wrong happened under the NDA government and to drag it in a matter that happened under the UPA is a case of pot calling the kettle black.
“Congress should introspect and not behave in an immature, childish way,” its national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, calling the party “mother of corruption and misgovernance”
Earlier, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala alleged that BJP is “surreptitiously taking steps to protect the interests of six leading telecom companies by helping them avoid the payment of charges rightfully owed to the government.”
He also claimed that this is a clear-cut case of loss to the public exchequer verified by the CAG “with the sole aim of helping friendly ‘crony capitalists’.” The telecom companies named by Surjewala are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata and Aircel.