PM should break silence on S-band spectrum scam: Jayalalithaa

Posted By: Pti
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Chennai, Feb 9 (PTI) AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa todayasked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to break his silence onthe alleged S-Band spectrum scam and come out clean on theissue.

"How the Prime Minister, an economist of repute, canbe a silent accomplice to such gross misdemeanours is beyondme. Singh has to break his silence and come clean," she saidin a statement here.

Otherwise, people would lose faith in the CentralGovernment and the "nation will become a laughing stock beforethe whole world," Jayalalithaa said.

Media reports of a Rs two lakh crore loss to thenational exchequer in allocation of 70 Mega Hertz of valuableS-band spectrum were shocking to say the least, she said.

Citing the reports, she said Devas Multimedia, aBangalore-based company, was in 2005 given "complete control"of 70MHz of S-band spectrum that can be used for mobilebroadband services for 20 years at a throwaway price of Rs1000 crore.

Jayalalithaa alleged the sale was made by thecommercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation Ltd and theallotment done without following a competitive bidding processand in total violation of the guidelines for such sale.

Last year, the Union Government had auctioned a mere15 MHz of similar airwaves for Rs 67,719 crore, which formsthe basis for estimating the loss to the nation out of theISRO spectrum deal as Rs two lakh crore, she said

"This mammoth ISRO deal, pertaining to the sensitiveDepartment of Space, which comes directly under the control ofthe Prime Minister, was brought to light when the Comptrollerand Auditor General of India commenced a preliminary audit ofthe activities of the Department of Space."

Although the Space Commission in July 2010 stronglyobjected to the contract and recommended that it be scrapped,this has not happened, she said, adding the deal betweenISRO�s Antrix Corporation and Devas has to be immediatelynullified and spectrum allotted to the private company shouldbe recovered.

A thorough probe has to be initiated to find out howprecious national resources are so "flippantly being fritteredaway and who the real beneficiaries of such largesse are," shesaid.

"It is a national shame that scams running to lakhs ofcrores of Rupees are tumbling out of the UPA Government�scloset with monotonous regularity," she said.

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