Raja rules out resignation over spectrum allocation scam

Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 22:46

New Delhi: Telecom Minister A Raja
on Thursday night ruled out resignation in the wake of CBI searches in
his ministry in connection with the controversial spectrum
allotment issue.

"The question of my resignation does not arise. All
decisions on spectrum licensing have been taken in accordance
with procedures laid down by TRAI and in consultations with
the Prime Minister," he told reporters late in the night.
Raja said nowhere has CBI pointed out that the
Minister has had a role in spectrum allotment, an issue that
is alleged to have caused a revenue loss of Rs 22,000 crore to
the Government.

"I stand by my reply in Parliament and I have already
justified the major policy decisions," he said, adding that he
did not expect the BJP or for that matter AIADMK to support
him on the issue.

He was replying to a question about BJP`s demand for
his resignation in the wake of CBI conducting searches in the
Ministry.

Earlier in the day, the CBI conducted searches in the
offices of the wireless planning cell (WPC), the department
responsible for allocating spectrum, and the office of Deputy
Director General (Access Services).

Raja said the policy decision to issue licences to new
players to bring competition in the telecom sector was taken
as per the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority
of India (Trai) dated February 27, 2007.

The licences were issued on the principle of first
come first serve basis as had been followed since 1994 by all
his predecessors inherited from the basic licencing
conditions. The licences were issued for all operators.

So far as the licencing fee is concerned, these were
termed as entry fee by Trai since there is separate spectrum
licence charge.
"There was and there is a public notion that spectrum
charge and licence fee are one and the same since spectrum
charge is separate and licence fee was not revised by Trai in
2007 and as a matter of fact last month in the EGoM met on the
3G," he said.

Raja said that he has come to know that a case has
been registered by CBI against officials of his ministry.

"For any procedural deviation or favouritism under
this policy decision has to be dealt with by the investigating
agency and the concerned officer will have to cooperative with
the investigating officer," he said.

Raja debunked reports that there was a raid in his
ministry and that officers had come only to look into
"voluminous documents".

Bureau Report




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