2G spectrum: Govt begins clean up drive

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney

    New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended cancellation of over 60 licenses given to six firms including Etisalat and Videocon.

    Replying to allegation being made on 2G spectrum allocation, Bharti Group's CEO Sunil Mittal says the Government must be allowed to do the job they're doing.

    “Government is doing a job, we must allow them to do it, " said Mittal.

    Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has started the cleanup drive. He issued notices to 85 licensees out of the 122 issued by his predecessor A Raja for 2G spectrum. These companies will have to explain why they fudged documents at the time of applying for licences. Most of the telecom companies have been put on notice including S-Tel, Uninor, Loop, and Videocon some of whom have begun services. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had found that they changed altered their memorandums of association without government clearance.

    "This (CAG report) will be looked at in light of notices and responses of the licences," Sibal said.

    The Telecom companies will also be taken to task for not meeting their roll out obligation. It has been found by the TRAI that nearly 63 licencees have not met these criteria. And it’s not just the new players.

    "We hope this will send message to those who sought to take advantage through a process that is not transparent. The message is that time has come for policy framework that is good for industry and the Government will not balk to ensure rule of law is honoured. Those guilty should be dealt with accordingly," he said.

    Sibal said the company holdings in Swan telecom will be investigated. The CAG report has alleged that Swan was a front company for Reliance Telecom. According to rules a company cannot have stakes in more than one Licensee company for the same area. The companies have been given 60 days to respond. The minister has also promised to put a telecom policy in place soon.

    Now the debate will shift to whether or not licenses of 2G spectrum should be cancelled.

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