The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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RBI boss junks 2G loss

New Delhi, Sept. 18: RBI governor D. Subbarao, who today appeared before the joint parliamentary committee on 2G spectrum scam, said there was no loss to the exchequer because of the allocation of spectrum on a first come, first served basis.

Subbarao was finance secretary when spectrum was given in January 2008. The panel was questioning him on the finance ministry’s role in the grant of spectrum at 2001 prices.

Subbarao, who was finance secretary between April 30, 2007 and September 4, 2008, said there was no monetary loss in actual terms, sources present at the hearing said. “Much depends on perception,” he is learnt to have told the panel.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, in its November 2010 report on the 2G scam, had said the government had lost Rs 1.76 lakh crore by allocating spectrum instead of selling it at market rates.

According to sources, Subbarao said finance minister P. Chidambaram and former telecom minister A. Raja had agreed on the processs. He was also in disagreement with the March 25, 2011 note of the finance ministry to the Prime Minister, which suggested that Chidambaram could have insisted on the auction of 2G spectrum.

The RBI chief also met the finance minister today and is believed to have discussed the economic situation. The move comes a day after the apex bank cut CRR by 0.25 per cent to inject Rs 17,000 crore into the banking system.