Info-tech

Congress giving a wrong narrative on the verdict : Telecom Minister

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha, says 2008 spectrum allocations were faulty, arbitrary and corrupt.

Says fate of 122 licences of 8 operators to be decided based on investigative agencies’ take

Putting to rest any speculations on the fate of 122 telecom licences of eight operators following the verdict of the special court acquitting all accused in the 2G spectrum case, the government maintained that any decision will be taken based on the investigative agencies’ take on the verdict.

Stating this Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha accused rival Congress party saying that the opposition is giving wrong narratives on the verdict. “Congress is giving wrong narratives on 2G verdict. It’s for investigation agencies to look into the matter…UPA government made first-come-first-policy into first-come-first-pay,” Sinha told reporters.

He said the 2008 spectrum allocations were faulty, arbitrary and corrupt. Unfazed by the lower court acquitting former Telecom Minister A Raja and 15 others on charges of corruption and cheating in sale of 122 spectrum licences in 2008, Sinha said the government’s anti-corruption watchdog CVC had investigated the allocations and had found faults with them.

Asked about the 122 licences sold to companies including the local joint ventures of Norway’s Telenor, UAE’s Etisalat and Russia’s Sistema, without elaborating, he said the government will take a call based on report of the investigative agencies.

Defending the government stance, Sinha said that all auctions during the current government were not only transparent but got more revenue compared to last government, and there was not a single complaint from anyone.

“Spectrum was allocated through auctions thereafter and the collections during NDA rule were 10 per cent higher than the UPA regime, he said, adding that ₹1.9 lakh crore was raised from spectrum auctions since 2015. The NDA government raised ₹65,789 crore from 2016,” Sinha said.

Published on December 21, 2017

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