The issues of rising commodity prices and threats to internal security were termed paramount among his, many challenges. He also said, “we are better prepared to deal with acts of terror" and mentioned that “his government deserves some credit" for their efforts.
On the 2G scam:
Playing a rather safe stand and sure of not being overtly critical of his tainted telecom minister's role in the spectrum. On being asked about the point on the PM's intimation to Raja way back in Nov 2007 on the discrepancies in the spectrum allocation and the allegations that Raja disregarded the PMs thoughts on the issue. Dr Singh said, “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."
Dr Singh also mentioned Raja's response to his queries and said that auctioning of the spectrum was not a prevalent practice then. The PM said that the operating protocols were agreed upon by either TRAI or other telecom departments and ministries. The PM added, “I did not feel that I was in a position to insist that auction must be insisted."
Raja's response according to the PM was, "he (Raja) also said that if we had auction it would not give a level playing field for the new comers because the existing players have got the spectrum free of charge upto a certain mega hertz.
"And therefore he said the TRAI's advice, the Telecom Commission's advice and his (Raja's) own view was that auctions are not the right way forward as far as 2G spectrum is concerned and he also mentioned in a subsequent letter that he is agreeable to auction 3G Spectrum but with regard to 2G spectrum he was very clear that we should stay with the then existing approach."
On why Raja was inducted into the cabinet yet again after the scam broke loose, he said that there are chances in a coalition government that one will have to make certain partnerships will alliances. He said, “At that moment, there was no reason to feel that anything wrong had been done."
(With inputs from PTI)