Not aware of methods used in FCFS spectrum allocation: PM

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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Feb 16: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday asserted he was not aware of the methodology of the controversial First-Come, First-Serve (FCFS) policy followed for 2G spectrum allocation by disgraced former Telecom Minister A Raja, which resulted in a huge scam estimated to be up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

"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," Singh said in an interaction with the editors from the electronic media.

He, however, said that since the Ministries of Finance and Telecom had agreed to continue with the existing policy of allocating 2G spectrum, "I did not feel that I was in a position to insist that auction must be insisted."

The government auditor CAG had estimated a presumptive loss of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to sale of spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices.

This had forced Raja to resign from the Union Cabinet in Nov, last year and was followed by his arrest on spectrum 2G scam charges.

On retaining Raja as the Telecom Minister in the UPA-II, the Prime Minister said in a coalition government. The choices of the Leaders of the Alliance partners have to accepted and that the DMK had suggested Raja and Dayanidhi Maran into the Union Cabinet.

"At that moment, there was no reason to feel that anything wrong had been done", the Prime Minister said.

PTI

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