Did not look the other way on 2G allocation, says PMO

July 31st, 2011 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) The Prime Minister’s Office Sunday strongly rebutted allegations in a leading publication that Manmohan Singh had “looked the other way” despite knowing of irregularities in the 2G spectrum and telecom licenses allocation.

The clarification came in the wake of a report in India Today newsmagazine, citing a noting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s principal secretary, which asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to keep the PMO at an arm’s length on the matter of allocation of 2G spectrum and new licenses.

“It was well known at that time that there were conflicting interests between existing operators and new entrants. The Prime Minister felt that this matter required detailed examination and deliberation by the department of telecom in consultation with TRAI and others,” said the PMO statement Sunday evening.

The PMO said Manmohan Singh simply wanted the matter to be examined by the DoT and hence had only sent the note as an informal suggestion.

The publication had said that the Murli Manohar Joshi-headed Public Account Committee (PAC) of parliament had found file notings of the prime minister’s principal secretary T.K.A. Nair that indicated that the PMO was aware of then communications minister A. Raja’s actions but chose to look the other way.

“The noting under question can in no way be construed to mean that the Prime Minister or his office looked the other way on matters relating to the grant of licence or spectrum charges etc.,” said the statement from the PMO.

The PMO also said that incorrect impressions were being created by distorting facts.

“In particular, an impression is sought to be created that the noting was in response to the Prime Minister being informed of steps being taken which he knew were inappropriate but he looked the other way.”

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