2G: PMO denies reports claiming agreement with A Raja's actions
New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has categorically denied media reports alleging that it had analysed and agreed with former telecom minister A Raja's actions before the 2G scam surfaced.
The PMO termed the report that it was in agreement that start-up spectrum be allocated at normal rates implying no revision in entry fee as factually incorrect.
It also pointed out that the report had several inaccuracies and was wrong in claiming to be based on new evidence.
The PMO said all documents mentioned in the newspaper report have been in the public domain for a long time now.
Copies of these documents have been submitted to the JPC and PAC. Therefore, this is not a case where some new material has been discovered suddenly as the report claims.
The PMO also said the primary material on which the report is based and the noting quoted in the report that "PM wants this informally shared with the Department. Does not want formal communication and wants PMO to remain at arm's length please" has been widely reported in the past and on which a detailed clarification was issued by Prime Minister's Office on 31st July 2011.
"Therefore, there is no 'new material' on which the reports are based. The "new" papers and evidence which the reports rely on are mentioned in Para 3 (a)-(d) of PMO's Press Release. This has been widely reported in the past and is not fresh material," The PMO stated.
The official release said the proposal of the Prime Minister's Office was to forward suggestions to the Department of Telecom for further consideration on the basis of individual consultations with the main players and TRAI.
The Prime Minister's office said it is clear that the noting under question can in no way be construed to mean that the Prime Minister or his office looked the other way on matters relating to the grant of license or spectrum charges etc.
The PMO said it related solely to the manner in which the approach should be conveyed to the Department of Telecom, to be considered on merits, without being viewed as a direction from the Prime Minister or his office.
The PMO release also said that, in his Statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister had clearly stated the concern about wrong doings was not about the first-come first-served policy but the manner in which it was implemented and whether it was implemented appropriately.
The Hindu, citing documentary evidences, reported that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh directed senior PMO officials to examine Raja's decision to allocate controversial telecom licenses and they supported it.
"New evidence shows that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, far from being "at arm's length" from ex-Telecom Minister A. Raja's controversial 2G decisions, had directed officials in the PMO to "examine urgently" Mr. Raja's letters outlining his intended decisions which eventually led to the 2G scam on January 10, 2008. Investigation now reveals that senior PMO officials had supported several of Mr. Raja's acts on file, well before the 2G scam," The Hindu reports.