New Delhi: Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai has dismissed the criticism of the 2G loss report. In his first TV interview after retirement, he told Karan Thapar that the CAG's coalgate report is based on facts. He said the CAG has been conservative in calculating the coalgate losses and followed all guidelines and norms while calculating the 2G loss. He said he is not worried about the negative observations of his report on 2G and said the government had nothing personal against him. Following is an excerpt from Karan Thapar's interview with Vinod Rai
Karan Thapar: The first concern as the CBI court says you cannot calculate loss. Not just the quantum, you can't even say there's been a loss. So the very concept of loss the court is saying can't be arrived at. The second thing that vitiates the 2G report is the claim that there was loss because there was an auction, the corresponding gain to the exchequer because of improvement in teledensity, may have been way above what the government wanted but it still happened and because of the consequent movement of economic activity. So the balancing isn't right.
Vinod Rai: Each of these are viewpoints which are not that of an auditing community. Each one of us conducts audits as per certain norms. A major concern that arises is if we auditors have conducted an audit, what was the quality of the audit. Even in media lots of concerns have been expressed as to who audits an auditor. In India the CAG is generically referred to as the supreme auditing institution, which means like the Supreme Court, nobody sits above it.
Karan Thapar: You are final but not necessarily correct.
Vinod Rai: But at the same time we decided we must get a peer review done from an auditor general from another country.
Karan Thapar: You got a peer review of the 2G report?
Vinod Rai: 100 per cent.
Karan Thapar: What did the peers say?
Vinod Rai: We requested the auditors general of a couple of countries we thought are well equipped to do a peer review and the auditor general of Australia constituted a team of 14 people drawn from Australia, UK, Netherlands, Denmark. They have not found any fault in the auditing framework of our report.