New Delhi: The Public Accounts Committee,
headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, has sent a
questionnaire to Telecom Ministry on 2G spectrum allocation
scam and other developments in the sector.
The questions highlight a wide range of gaps in policy
implementation right from 2003 onwards.
The issues raised include side tracking the views and
concerns of the Ministry of Finance by former Telecom Minister
A Raja, the First-Come, First-Serve policy and ignoring the
advice of the Ministry of Law and Justice to refer the issue
of new licences in 2007 to the GoM.
PAC has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) as to why
the spectrum (radio waves) allocation was not delinked from
the licence as it was known that spectrum was scarce vis-a-vis
"By not taking proactive measures of delinking the scarce
resource from licence which led to allocation of 2G spectrum
in 2008 at 2001 price, are DoT not giving an impression that
they are solely responsible for the alleged 2G scam," PAC said
in its questionnaire.
PAC has sent the questionnaire even as the Joint
Parliamentary Committee (JPC) has been set up to look into all
the details of the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008 and in the
telecom sector from 1998 onwards.
PAC also wanted to know from DoT that at what level the
decision was taken to change the Terms of References of the
Cabinet decision of 2003 to associate the Ministry of Finance
in discussions for efficient allocation of spectrum and price
Sources in the Telecom Ministry confirmed the receipt of
PAC`s communication and said they would respond to all the
queries, but did not elaborate.
On the issue of large number of applications of over 570,
the Parliamentary panel wanted to know that whether DoT
consulted telecom regulator Trai due to its recommendations of
"No Cap" on number of operators in a circle.
"What was the specific impediment that the DoT faced in
processing all the 575 applications received up to October 1,
2007," the PAC said.
There are a couple of questions with regard to the
eligibility of the new operators and wanted to know whether
DoT took the help of the company secretaries and chartered
accountants while examining the applications.
The communication has been sent to Telecom Secretary R
Chandrasekhar and would decide the future course of action on
receipt of DoT`s replies, sources said.