Now 2G for NDA's blood after devouring UPA regime

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New Delhi, Jul 8: After the heat is on the UPA for the various scams and controversies that had emerged during its regime, a revelation by the Department of Telecom (DoT) now could be potentially scathing for the NDA regime as well. The DoT has disclosed that the country's exchequer suffered a loss of Rs 43,500 crore due to the NDA's implementation of the telecom migration policy.

The DoT is still grappling with quantifying the loss incurred in the 2G spectrum scam after being asked for it by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which is currently probing the spectrum scam. This is when the Telecom department put a figure to the loss amounting to Rs. 43,523.92 crore.

The JPC also witnessed differences in the views presented by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Telecom Ministry on the issue of pricing of the spectrum. The contrasting views were brought out by the JPC chaired by Congress leader P C Chacko. The Ministry of Finance wanted the spectrum allocation to be discussed among the Committee of Secretaries and later referred to the Group of Ministers in 2006, revealed Chacko.

Chacko divulged that the MoF had strongly suggested that the spectrum pricing be part of the terms of reference of the GoM. This matter was not agreed upon by the then Telecom Minister. He added that the Union Cabinet had given the go-ahead for the Terms of Reference by the Group of Ministers on the additional spectrum allocation. But the terms of reference apparently did not contain views on pricing.

Present Home Minister P Chidambaram handled the Ministry of Finance then with recently-resigned Dayanidhi Maran adorning the post of Telecom Minister. Maran had opined then that the pricing of the spectrum falls under the radar of the administrative ministry and was not keen on the terms of reference of the GoM.

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