“Should I be faulted for increasing mobile users in the country from 300 million when I took over to 710 million and reducing the call rate from R1.60 to 25 paise?” he asked.
He also maintained he had followed exactly the same process as his predecessors in the ministry in the sale of 2G spectrum in 2008, which has now turned controversial.
“I acted as per the law,” he said. “I can show my ministry’s policy on 2G spectrum allocation did not begin with me. If I am at fault, my predecessors must be at fault too.”
Raja said the policy he followed began in 1999 under the NDA’s Pramod Mahajan, and was thereafter followed by his successors, Arun Shourie and Dayanidhi Maran. He said it was “a conscious policy decision” to bail out telecom operators who “were having financial problems due to high auction prices and relatively low demand”. “We wanted the sector to expand and reach the masses,” he said.