Narendra Modi to address joint session of US Congress
Congress accuses Modi government of Telecom scam worth Rs 45,000 Pictured: Narendra Modi, the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress in Washington DC, United States, will deliver his speech on Wednesday, June 8.Reuters

The Congress party on Thursday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was brushing a Rs. 45,000 crore Telecom scam under the carpet. 

"Latest is a staggering 'Telecom Scam' of approximately Rs.45,000 crore plus that is being buried under the carpet by 'Modi Sarkar,'" party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference, according to the Indian Express.

The government 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 added.

Surjewala directed the accusations towards Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata and Aircel. The share prices of Idea and Airtel fell in the Indian stock market after the Congress accused them of committing financial fraud. 

The Comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) had initiated an audit for the fiscal years  2006-07 to 2009-10 to look at misreporting of income. 

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued a statement on Wednesday clarifying on the allegations levied by the Congress.

CAG Report on understatement of revenue by six Telecom Service Providers by Rs 46000 crores was received in February 2016. The Report pertains to four years i.e. 2006-07 to 2009-2010 which is before the tenure of this government. The Report points out a shortfall of Rs 5000 crore of License Fee and Spectrum Usage Charge and Rs 7000 crore of interest. The 6 service providers are Bharti, Vodafone, Aircel, Reliance, TATA and Idea," the statement said.

The scrutiny into the matter is currently ongoing, the ministry statement read.

"Demands raised from this exercise will be recovered with due interest and penalty as applicable under license agreements. There is therefore no loss of revenue to Government," it added.

The clarification was in the wake of Surjewala saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said "na khaoonga, na khaane doonga" (I won't be corrupt, and I won't let others be corrupt), before he was elected in 2014. The Congress party spokesman said that the revenue loss is helping Modi's "industrialist friends."

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