2G scam: Telecom Secy, TRAI chief to appear before JPC

Written by: Pti
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Parliament of India
New Delhi, May 17: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the 2G scam will question Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, TRAI Chairman J S Sarma and top officials of some other departments over the next two days with regard to the telecom licencing and related issues.

Meeting for the second time after it was set up in February, the JPC headed by senior Congress leader PC Chacko will examine thoroughly the telecom policy that has been in place since 1998 and may go even beyond, sources told PTI.

Chandrashekhar and Sarma, as also the top officials of the Enforcement Directorate and Revenue Department, who will appear before the 30-member committee, are expected to be asked how the telecom licence policy had been implemented since 1998 and whether there had been any irregularities, the sources said.

The Committee is also expected to examine whether the telecom policy with regard to spectrum allocation had been sound or there were some lacunae that needed to be plugged.

"It has to be a comprehensive review of the telecom policy over 10 years," a source said on the eve of the meeting.

"The focus will be on examining whether licence procedures have been followed, if licences have been issued on merit and discuss whether licences should be cancelled, in case any irregularity was found," the source said.

The Committee, which is keen to complete its work by August-end, is also expected to summon various other persons linked to the spectrum issue.

Summoning of former Telecom Minister A Raja, a key player in the alleged 2G scam who is now in jail, and top executives of the beneficiary companies is also not ruled out.

"We will have to summon anybody connected with the issue (2G sepctrum allocation)," the source said.

The JPC may also consider setting up a technical committee to quantify the loss that has been caused by the 2G spectrum allocation. This is necessitated by the fact that various agencies like CAG, CBI and CVC and the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee have given different estimates ranging from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 1.90 lakh crore.

The JPC was set up after intense and sustained demands by the Opposition for such a Committee to probe the 2G scam.


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