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India's Biggest Scams; Worth Over Rs 80 Lakh Crore!

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With so many scams and scandals hitting the headlines during 2010, virtually pushing other national issues to the background, an effort has been made by some public spirited citizens to compile a list of past and present scams to put the present bunch of scams -- 2G, CWG, IPL, etc -- in perspective.

According to the compilation, the total amount of money involved in various scams over the last 12 years alone, since 1992, is estimated to be over Rs 80 lakh crore (Rs 80 trillion) or $1.80 trillion!

While this figure is not claimed to be a definitive calculation, it has been arrived at on the basis of material published in newspapers over the years.

Here is a check-list of some of the major corruption scandals and corporate frauds that hit the headlines and the estimated amounts alleged to have been involved.

2G spectrum scam: Rs 176,000 crore

At a mind-boggling Rs 176,000 crore (Rs 1.76 trillion), the 2G spectrum allocation scam is by far the biggest scam in India. The Supreme Court recently said the spectrum scam has put 'all other scams to shame'.

The incident saw former telecom minister A Raja being forced to resign after the CAG indicted him in the 2G spectrum scam that resulted in a loss of about Rs 176,000 crore to the national exchequer.

Even as investigations in to the scam -- which has now become a political hot potato with the Opposition gunning for the government, demanding a JPC and the ruling UPA adamant on not giving in -- are on, it has come to light that politicians, corporate lobbyists, business houses and even the media might have played a big role in it.

The scandal revolves around the alleged irregularities in allotting wireless radio spectrum and licences by the telecom ministry to private operators -- some of whom were ineligible -- in 2007. Licences were given and spectrum allocation was done at an extremely low price leading to a gargantuan loss to the national coffers.

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