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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

JPC report critical of NDA's telecom concessions to operators

PTI  New Delhi, April 19, 2013
First Published: 19:35 IST(19/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:46 IST(19/4/2013)

The draft JPC report on 2G scam has questioned NDA's decision to grant concessions to telecom companies on licence fee despite protests by then telecom minister Jagmohan and says the then government had to "forego" over Rs. 42,000 crore in offering migration package to cellular operators.

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On the issue of extending concessions to telecom operators such as moratorium on payment of licence fee, the panel said the government went ahead despite opposition by then telecom minister Jagmohan who was supported by then finance minister Yashwant Sinha.

The draft report also said that by offering migration package, the government had to forego revenue to the tune of Rs. 42,080.34 crore.

"A perusal of the note initiated by the then minister of communications (Jagmohan) revealed that he was in complete disagreement with the representations made by the operators, who demanded a moratorium on payment of licence fee for two years and extension of period of licence from 10 to 15 years," the draft report said.

Jagmohan was of the view that "there was no legal, financial, commercial or moral justification for agreeing to the representation made by the operators".

The report, which has come under fire from the BJP, said he strongly favoured the option to recover all the outstanding dues from the operators.

The report, however, appreciated the decision of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to review the telecom policy "to facilitate India's vision of becoming an IT superpower and develop a world class telecom infrastructure in the country."


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