JPC Unlikely to Call Former Ministers on 2G Issue
PTI | New Delhi | Jun 05, 2012
The Joint Parliamentary Committee is unlikely to call former ministers, including main accused A Raja, in connection with the 2G spectrum scam as it wants to prune the number of witnesses and prepare its report by September.
There is an overwhelming view in the JPC, which has already got two extensions, that there was no need to call the former ministers as witnesses as enough material was available in the form of documents and presentations by officials to prepare its report, sources said.
The JPC had earlier decided to call all former Telecom Ministers, including Raja, before it in connection with the probe into the high-profile scam.
There were also demands within the Committee for calling Home Minister P Chidambaram in view of certain allegations against him in the spectrum allocation of 2008… Continue reading
The Tata Group Chairman-designate, Mr Cyrus Mistry, today raised concerns about the proposed 2G spectrum policy with the Communications and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal. Mr Mistry was accompanied by Mr N Srinath, Managing Director, Tata Telservices.
The meeting comes a few days after questions were raised about the validity of Tata Teleservices’ GSM spectrum in 19 circles. Last week, industry body Assocham had written to top government functionaries claiming that a total of 141 licences should be cancelled and that this would make more spectrum available for auction.
Mr Sibal is expected to meet promoters of other telecom companies this week before the entire 2G policy is taken up by the EGoM.
According to industry sources, Mr Mistry clarified the company’s position on this issue to Mr Sibal. In addition, other aspects of the proposed 2G spectrum policy, including pricing, re-farming and… Continue reading
| Idea cellular on Monday said that TRAI’s recommendations on 2G spectrum auction are not in line with the Supreme Court’s February 2 verdict which mandated some basic legal features for the re-auction of licences.
The company which is set to lose 13 spectrum licences has termed it as “gross violation of the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences” granted in 2008.
Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular in latter to the telecom minister Kapil Sibal said that the order does not lend itself to mutilation by any reduction from 122, in the number of licences to be auctioned. Equally, the order does not lend itself to diversion of the spectrum attached to the quashed 122 licences to any one, other than the new licence auction winners.
He said that the reserve price should be the one paid in 2008, Rs 1,658 crore along with… Continue reading
Idea Cellular has shot off a letter to the Communication and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, saying that the reserve price for 2G spectrum should be fixed at 2008 rates. The operator also said that the entire spectrum attached to the cancelled 122 licences should be put up for auction.
Idea Cellular said that the recommendations by the telecom regulator were in gross violation of the Supreme Court directive. “The Order does not lend itself to mutilation by any reduction from 122, in the number of licenses to be auctioned,” the Aditya Birla-promoted telecom company said in its letter. The operator added that if any of the operators’ whose licence has been quashed, ends up winning in the auction, then the amount originally paid should be adjusted against the winning bid amount. “The reserve price should be the price paid in 2008,… Continue reading
India is among a handful of countries that has made an early push to roll out 4G services, in spite of skepticism over whether the country is ready for the next-generation network amid setbacks facing the industry such as the recent 2G scandal and the lack of traction in 3G. Success, however, depends on having more multimode-enabled devices entering the market and cheaper data services, observers note.
Among those who cast doubt was Kapil Sibal, the country’s minister for communications and information technology.
In a report by local news site DNA last month, Sibal said: “I dare say that though 3G was launched, the benefits are not yet seen [by the common man]. Now we are launching the 4G.” His comments were made at the milestone launch of Bharti Airtel’s 4G service in Kolkata—India’s first city to receive the advanced network.
1. May 2007: DMK leader A. Raja takes over as the telecom minister.
2. August 2007: The telecom department initiates the process of the allotment of 2G spectrum for telecommunications along with universal access service licences.
3. November 2007: The finance ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted by it. A demand for review is rejected.
4. January 2008: DoT decides to issue the licences on a first-come-first-serve basis.
5. May 2009: Complaints are filed with the Central Vigilance Commission about illegalities in the allocation of spectrum to Loop Telecom and Swan Telecom at throwaway prices. Later in the year, the CVC directs the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the irregularities.
6. October 2009: CBI registers its first case and files an FIR against unknown DoT officials and officials of private companies. In the same month, the income tax department conducts raids at DoT offices.
7.… Continue reading
New Delhi: The industry body of CDMA operators has asked telecom minister Kapil Sibal to ignore suggestions made by JS Deepak, the government-appointed auction overseer, specific to telcos using dual-technology spectrum.
Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India or Auspi, that represents companies like Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam, has written to Sibal that targeting dual-technology operators to pay up for spectrum at a market-determined price would be ‘illegal and contrary to the policies of the level-playing field’ in a communication to the minister last week, seen by ET.
Auspi said that dual-technology mobile permits were not cancelled by the Supreme Court, and thus the original price they paid of 1,659 crore, as discovered in an airwave auction in 2001 was fair. On February 2, the Indian apex court rolled back 122 licences awarded in the controversial 2008 allocations.
The lobby said the matter was sub judice… Continue reading