No proposal for cancellation of allocated 2G spectrum: DOT

November 11th, 2010 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The Department of Telecom (DOT) is not looking forward to cancelling the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation to telecom operators alleged to have been given at “throw away” prices, Telecom Secretary R. Chandrasekhar said Thursday.

“At the moment there is no proposal before the department to take back any of the spectrum from any of the players,” said Chandrasekhar.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Wednesday submitted to the government its report on the controversial 2G spectrum allotment that is understood to have caused a loss of over Rs.170,000 crore to the national exchequer.

According to reports, the CAG report has indicated that the spectrum allocated to telecom operators at “throw away” prices may be cancelled.

Nine telecom operators were issued licences in 2008, along with start up of 2G spectrum at merely Rs.1,658 crore for pan-India operations.

The price at which the telcos were allotted the spectrum in 2008 was based on 2001 prices, which was quite low and led to a huge loss to the national exchequer.

Besides selling the spectrum at highly low price, the department of telecom also gave licences to those companies who did not qualify the eligibility criteria.

Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja has also been accused of ignoring the advice of the finance and law ministries, as also the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India while allocating the spectrum.

The telecom department had followed the policy of first-come-first-serve basis in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences and the cut-off date was arbitrarily changed and the licences were also awarded to just 120 of the 575 applicants.

The successful companies were allowed to subsequently sell equity and conduct private auctions to “garner large sums”.

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