Rs 46,000 cr telecom scam: “Why does Arun Jaitley sound more like a lawyer for corporates?”

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Congress on Saturday hit back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the issue of Rs 46,000 crore telecom scam, saying he was “sounding more like a lawyer for corporates”.

“Instead of standing up as a trustee of the nation’s finance, why does the finance Minister sound more like a lawyer for corporates?” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

He said the Finance minister should defend the people against “corporate impropriety, not the other way round”.

“Does the Modi Govt have the courage to order a similar CAG Audit (sic)?” he asked Jaitley, adding “Instead of acting on the expos by Congress, why is BJP attacking the Opposition? What are they hiding?”

Surjewala also wondered whether the government would “vouchsafe” that there was no under-reporting of income by the six telecom companies between 2010 to 2016 and whether it could give a “proof”.

“What proof does Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad have that there was no under reporting in 2010-16?” he asked.

Besides, he contended that by questioning this audit report, the Modi Govt is “questioning the SC” as the CAG audit has Supreme Court sanction.

Surjewala was countering Jaitley who had yesterday remarked that the Congress has scored a “self-goal” by calling under-reporting of Rs 46,000 crore revenue by six telecom firms an NDA scam as the “impropriety” had taken place during the UPA regime.

“Shrillness, non-application of mind and a belligerent rhetoric seem to be the strategy of Congress party,” he wrote in a Facebook blog titled ‘An Empty Rhetoric by the Congress Party’.

A CAG Report of February had stated that the six telephone providers including Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communication during 2006-07 to 2009-10 under-reported their revenues by as much as Rs 46,000 crore, thereby depleting the share of the Government in license fee and spectrum user charges by about Rs 5,000 crore.

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