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No role in 2G note, says ex-cabinet secy

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2012 00:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
2G spectrum allocation scam

Denying any role in preparing the controversial background note on 2G spectrum allocation, former cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar has passed the entire buck to the finance ministry under Pranab Mukherjee.

In his deposition before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the 2G spectrum allocation, the former top bureaucrat on Thursday emphasised that he never asked for or saw the note.

The 2G note had led to a major controversy as it hinted that then finance minister P Chidambaram could have prevented the 2G spectrum allocation.

After the opposition parties created uproar over the note, Mukherjee gave a clean chit to Chidambaram.

But Chandrasekhar's deposition before the JPC on Thursday may give fresh ammos to the opposition as it is not in sync with the finance ministry's earlier contention that it had no role in preparing the note.

He reportedly told the panel that a joint secretary-level officer in the finance ministry had informed the cabinet secretariat about the note through an email. He also attributed the email as an "informal communication". Going a step further, the former cabinet secretary even claimed on Thursday that he "saw the note for the first time" much later.

"It was not expected that there would be any inputs from the cabinet secretariat. I never asked for or saw the note prepared in the matter by the Ministry of Finance since I considered it to be an internal note of that ministry," he informed the panel.

Replying to another question, Chandrasekhar claimed that he had advised an entry fee of Rs 35,000 for the 2G spectrum.

Replying to a question of the CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta, the former bureaucrat said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 2007 suggesting the higher fee as the market had grown and more players were keen to come.

The telecom ministry under Raja had opted for Rs 1,658 as entry fee.