2G spectrum issue didn’t come to cabinet: PM (Lead)

February 16th, 2011 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarified Wednesday that former communication minister A. Raja decided on the allocation of 2G spectrum licences in 2008 and the issue was “never brought to me or the cabinet”.”In allocation of 2G spectrum, the issue of licences was never brought to me or the cabinet. That was the decision of the (then communication) minister,” he said, adding that Raja had assured him of “complete transparency” on the issue.

The prime minister was responding to a question at a press conference here with TV editors on the first-come-first-served policy of granting 2G spectrum licences that Raja had adopted.

“I wrote a letter to Raja on Nov 2, 2007. I listed a number of issues that you must look into and (ensure) they are dealt (with) in (an) equitable, fair and transparent manner. One of the issues that I asked him to look into was the possibility from the legal and technical angle of having an auction of spectrum,” Manmohan Singh said.

He said Raja wrote back saying he had been absolutely “transparent in dealings”.

“I will be so in the future and you have my assurance that I have done nothing and I will do nothing that will be consistent to the promise that I have made to you,” Manmohan Singh said, citing Raja’s letter.

The prime minister admitted he had received complaints against Raja but “I was not in a position to make up my mind if anything was seriously wrong”.

“Complaints were coming in, complaints were coming from all sides. Some were from those who had not benefited, some were from those who had benefited partly,” he said.

“I don’t know what was the motivation of the people who got the spectrum. I thought as it was the prevailing practice and Raja was continuing with that policy,” Manmohan Singh added.

Raja had taken the line that he was only continuing the policy adopted in 2003 by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, which had been endorsed by the Department of Telecom and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

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