DoT extends tenure for Patil committee

New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) The telecom ministry todayextended till January 31 the tenure of the one-man committeeunder retired Supreme Court judge Justice Shivraj V Patilwhich is looking into the appropriateness of proceduresfollowed in issuance of licences during 2001-2009.

DoT earlier on December 13 last year notified the termsof reference of the one-man committee whose tenure expiredtoday, the government said in a statement. The committee wasto report to Telecom Minister Kapil in a months time.

The government had announced setting up of a one-manpanel to look into the spectrum allocation procedures andpolicies during 2001-2009, a period that includes the NDAregime.

Sibal had said that any action against erring telecomcompaneis would be taken after this committee submitted itsreport.

The government auditor CAG had alleged that severaloperators had suppressed information while applying forlicences in 2007 to bag licences and 2G spectrum from formertelecom minister A Raja.

The CAG has quantified revenue loss at a whoppingpresumptive Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to the 2G spectrum scam.

The inquiry by the one-man committee was likely to becompleted within four weeks so that the government knows theentire gamut of procedures adopted for grant of spectrum notonly to 122 licencees (by former Telecom Minister A Raja in2008) but also before that, both in the category of start-upand additional spectrum.

Once the government has the inquiry findings with it, adecision would be taken on how to move forward.

During 2001-04, the BJP-led NDA government was at theCentre. Former telecom minister A Raja had been saying that heonly followed the policies of his predecessors. Raja wasforced to resign last month in the wake of CAG report that putthe revenue loss to the exchequer at Rs 1.76 lakh crore fordistributing licences in 2008 at 2001 prices.

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