Raja assured me of transparency in 2G allocation: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that former telecom minister A Raja has assured him of complete transparency in the allocation of 2G spectrum.delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2011 12:01 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that former telecom minister A Raja has assured him of complete transparency in the allocation of 2G spectrum.
"I wrote a letter to Raja on Nov 2, 2007. I listed a number of issues that you must look into and (ensure) they are dealt (with) in (an) equitable, fair and transparent manner. One of the issues that I asked him to look into was the possibility from the legal and technical angle of having an auction of spectrum," he told a gathering of television editors in an extensive media interaction covering all burning issues facing the country.
"He wrote back to me on the same day saying I had been absolutely transparent in dealings I will be so in the future and you have my assurance that I have done nothing and I will do nothing that will be consistent to the promise that I have made to you," Manmohan Singh added.
He said that there were some media reports on the issue and some telecom companies had raised concerns about the manner of spectrum allocation.
The PM also asserted he was not aware of the methodology of the controversial First-Come, First-Serve (FCFS) policy followed for 2G spectrum allocation by A Raja, which resulted in a huge scam estimated to be up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
"Who got the licences... how FCFS was implemented, this was never discussed with me nor was it brought to the Cabinet. This was exclusively telecom minister's decision," Singh said in an interaction with the editors from the electronic media.
He, however, said that since the the Ministries of Finance and Telecom had agreed to continue with the existing policy of allocating 2G spectrum, "I did not feel that I was in a position to insist that auction must be insisted."
The government auditor CAG had estimated a presumptive loss of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to sale of spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices.
This had forced Raja to resign from the Union Cabinet in November last year and was followed by his arrest on spectrum 2G scam charges.
On retaining Raja as the Telecom Minister in the UPA-II, the Prime Minister said in a coalition government, the choices of the Leaders of the Alliance partners have to accepted and that the DMK had suggested Raja and Dayanidhi Maran into the Union Cabinet.
" At that moment, there was no reason to feel that anything wrong had been done", the Prime Minister said.