On the day Dayanidhi Maran quit the UPA cabinet over his alleged role in the 2G scam, the department of telecom (DoT) told the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) that the public exchequer may have lost about Rs 43,523 crore because of the migration package rolled out by the NDA government in 1999.
The JPC, chaired by Congress leader PC Chacko, had earlier asked DoT to quantify the losses from the migration package for cellular and basic services without charging any fee.
On Thursday, the panel was also informed that the financial implication from the reduction of UAS fee by 2% from 2004 totalled around Rs 968 crore for the first four years and Rs 885 crore annually thereafter.
The panel also learned about the sharp differences between his ministry and DoT, including the auction of telecom licences and the pricing of spectrum during the depositions by former telecom secretary A V Gokak, ex-Trai chief M S Verma and a finance ministry official.
Chacko said that the panel was told that in 2006, DoT had rejected the finance ministry’s proposal that the committee of secretaries and the group of ministers (GoM) vet the allocation of additional spectrum. It also did not agree to the finance ministry’s suggestion that the pricing of spectrum be part of the terms of reference (ToR) of the GoM.
The two ministries also clashed on issues such as making defaulting companies forfeit their licences and construing arrears as government revenue and not as entry fees, he said.
P Chidambaram headed the ministry while Maran was the telecom minister.