He wasn’t in allocation loop
Then finance minister P Chidambaram was brought into the picture only after the telecom ministry issued the 2G spectrum licences in consultation with the PMO and the chief of the empowered group of ministers, said a top government source.delhi Updated: Sep 22, 2011 00:16 IST
Then finance minister P Chidambaram was brought into the picture only after the telecom ministry issued the 2G spectrum licences in consultation with the PMO and the chief of the empowered group of ministers, said a top government source.
A finance ministry letter on March 25, 2011 claimed that Chidambaram was a party to the decision. But Chidambaram, who is home minister now, was not available for comments.
Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee are out of country at present. While Singh is attending the UN General Assembly in New York, Mukherjee is in Washington for a Fund-Bank meeting.
Government sources said before issuing the licences on January 10, then telecom minister A Raja exchanged a series of letters with Singh between November 2, 2007 and December 26, 2007.
Raja also thrashed out the pricing issue on December 12, 2007with then external affairs minister and chief of the group of ministers Mukherjee and then solicitor general Goolam Vahanvati.
In fact, the sources said, the 2G entry fee of Rs1,650 crore and the first-come, first-served policy had been defended by both Singh and present telecom minister Kapil Sibal in Parliament.
According to senior officials, it clearly came out in the CAG report (paragraph no. 3.2.5, page no. 16) on the 2G allotment that the telecom ministry had overruled the finance ministry's suggestions after the allocation had been made.