New Delhi: The Congress members in the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee on Friday blocked the adoption of a draft action taken report on funding of rural telephony, saying they needed more details on the issue.

During a meeting of the Committee here, Congress members, including Sanjay Nirupam and Saifuddin Soz, claimed that they would not be able to take a view on the subject before examining officials from the Finance Ministry and DoT as the report was prepared by the previous Committee.

"The draft ATR carries only a few paragraphs of the reply furnished by the Finance Ministry on funding of rural telephony. If we have to adopt a report on such an issue, we need more details. We have demanded that officials from DoT and the Finance Ministry should be summoned again so that we can question them," said a Congress member.

But some other members of the PAC insisted that Committee Chairman and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi has only agreed to provide the members with verbatim details of the replies and depositions by the two ministries.

"He has only deferred a decision. He has not said that the officials will be summoned again," sources close to Joshi said.

The draft ATR relates to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to provide telephone services to rural areas. Under the policy, a fund is 'parked' in the Consolidated Fund of India from where DoT can use it to expand rural telephony.

The PAC had placed a report on the USO Fund for the period 2002 to 2007 before Parliament. The draft report is a follow up based on the action taken by the government on that PAC report.

The draft ATR report was prepared by the previous committee whose term ended in April, 2011.

The activities supported by the USOF include operation and maintenance of Village Public Telephones, provision of additional rural community phones in areas after achieving the target of one Village Public Telephone in every revenue village and creation of infrastructure for provision of mobile services in rural and remote areas.

The PAC on Friday adopted six other draft ATRs. These included the one on operation and maintenance of IAF fleet, revenue loss due to delay in levy of toll, uneconomic branch lines in Indian Railways and negligent scrutiny of claims leading to excess payment by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

(Agencies)