December 13, 2019
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Making Sense Of The Paper Trail In The 2G Spectrum Scam

The UPA government's strategy to distance itself from the actions of A. Raja is under threat. A look at how this affects the dramatis personae.

Making Sense Of The Paper Trail In The 2G Spectrum Scam
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Manmohan Singh, PM Was in the know, but did not intervene; said he went by advice of finance, telecom ministries. In 2006, OKed taking away spectrum pricing powers from the GoM. D. Subbarao, RBI governor and former finance secretary Issued orders to stay licence and spectrum allocation; was overruled. Accepts that meetings took place between finance, telecom ministries.

Manju Madhavan, former member (finance), DoT Objected to changes in policy made by Raja, including refusal to auction spectrum. Immediately fell out of Raja’s favour and quit her post. P. Chidambaram, former FM Initially favoured revising licence entry fees, spectrum auction but did not intervene when Raja gave away licence, spectrum cheaply. Later wrote to PM* that future additional spectrum be auctioned but earlier allocated spectrum be treated as a closed chapter.

Pranab Mukherjee, FM and chairman, GoM on spectrum Wrote to PM in Dec 2007, saying spectrum allocation rules should be transparent. As head of GoM, complained that it was not given powers to fix spectrum pricing; was kept in the loop however. FinMin note of March 25, 2011, says former FM Chidambaram could have prevented the scam. A. Raja, former telecom minister Facing a litany of charges, and under arrest for eight months now, he is trying to argue that his actions had full approval of the PM and FM. Facing fresh charges from the CBI on criminal breach of trust.

Dayanidhi Maran, former telecom minister Recommended setting up of Group of Ministers to look into the spectrum issue in 2006, complains to the PM* about changes in the terms of reference of the GoM. TRAI chairman J.S. Sarma Now arguing that there is no loss to the national exchequer from the 2G scam. Earlier TRAI favoured spectrum allocation through auctions; but telecom ministry under A. Raja rejected this.
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