New 2G twist: Joshi 'disfavoured' spectrum auction
New Delhi: Seeking to embarrass the BJP over
2G scam, Congress on Wednesday released a letter written by its
senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi in December 2007 in which
he appeared disfavouring the auction of Spectrum.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December
2, 2007, Joshi, then as Chairman of the Standing Committee on
Commerce had said, "Some Operators have suggested that
Spectrum should be auctioined, which means that there could a
case of hoarding cartelization to the detriment of BSNL and
Reading out the particular portion from the letter,
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said that it is unfortunate
that while senior BJP leader Joshi had advocated against
auction, his party now levels all sorts of allegations against
UPA on the issue.
"It is surprising BJP says something else while a senior
leader of his own party, who currently heads PAC examining
the 2G issue had said something else earlier," Alvi said.
Meanwhile, quoting media reports in the letter, Joshi
also said, "Leading MNCs operating in the telecom sector have
launched a tirade against the allocation of Spectrum to BSNL
and MTNL by Government....some private operators have been
given free of cost Spectrum far in excess of their eligibility
as per the licensing norms. Further, they do not have any
social responsibility to fulfil."
"The media also report that after the announcement of the
new policy by DOT, these private operators wish to prevent the
growth of BSNL and MTNL by depriving them of Spectrum as they
require. Some operators have suggested that Spectrum should be
auctioned, which means there could a case of hoarding and
cartelization to the detriment of MTNL and BSNL," he added.
Joshi's letter makes a strong case for the Public Sector
Undertakings in the telecom sector saying they, unlike
corporates, are mandated to fulfil social obligations as well.