For those who have been following 2G scam,I have found some additional information on the subject through
The CBI will charge India’s top conglomerates the Essar Group and Relaince ADAG with criminal conspirary and cheating in the multi billion dollar 2G Telecom Licenses Scandal.This Corruption Scam was brought directly under the control of the Supreme Court as the government failed to move against powerful businessmen and politicians.Now the investigative agencies which have broken free from the ruling party’s interference have given the status of the investigation to the Court.The CBI has said that the 2 companies Loop and Swan Telecom were used as front companies by established telecom operators Essar and Reliance Communications to get more license.Note this defeated the entire exercise and there is ample circumstantial evidence to prove that the telecom minister Raja and his cronies connived with the companies to give precious spectrum for a song.Massive kickbacks were given through real estate companies like DB Realty whose top billionaire owners are cooling their heels in jail as well.
It remains to be seen whether the top corporate executives of India’s topmost conglomerates get prosecuted over these wrongdoings.Essar and ADAG are amongst the top 10 conglomerates in India with wide ranging operations with billions of dollars in revenues nationally as well as internationally.The Supreme Court has been instrumental in bringing this case so far as the government seems totally coopted by corruption.It has been frequently been castigated by the Supreme Court and has shamelessly defended corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.It remains to be seen how this 2G Telecom Case ends.If justice is done,then it may provide a new chapter to India’s corruption ridden story till now.
Sitaram’s letter had identified three elements in the telecom scam. One was of course giving away 122 licenses at 2001 prices in 2008. In 2001, there were barely 4 million mobile subscribers as against 300 million subscribers in 2008. With this expansion of the telecom market, using 2001 prices in 2008 was nothing but providing largesses to friends and relations. While the media focussed on this aspect of the scam, there were also two other components. One was the conversion of CDMA licenses to Unified Access Services (UAS), by virtue of which Reliance and Tata entered the GSM based mobile services. The third was the extra spectrum that the existing operators had hogged beyond their originally sanctioned amount. The table below summarises the amounts computed by the CPI(M) as in the letter to PM by Sitaram Yechury and the computations by CAG.
These figures are now longer conjectures of experts or figures computed by people who could be accused of being critical of the Government. These are figures worked out by a bunch of government auditors who had access to the files of the Department of Telecom and have come to their independent conclusions.
Who were the major beneficiaries of the scam? As the CAG Report makes clear, not only were the new licenses for 2G undervalued, but certain parties picked out for special favours. Swan and Unitech, the two real estate companies, were particular favourites. The second set of beneficiaries were the CDMA license holders — Reliance and Tata — who were given cross-over licenses for the bigger GSM market. The third were those GSM operators – Vodafone and Bharati in particular — who were holding spectrum well-beyond their original allotted spectrum.
The CAG report has also substantiated the charges made in the letter that Sitaram Yechury had written regarding violations of TRAI recommendations and disregarding the advise of other Ministries. The Report states, “The entire process of spectrum allocation was undertaken in an arbitrary manner. The Hon’ble Prime Minister had stressed on the need for a fair and transparent allocation of spectrum, and the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Law and Justice had sought for the decision regarding spectrum pricing to be considered by an EGoM. Brushing aside these concerns and advices, the Department of Telecommunications, in 2008, proceeded to issue 122 new licences for 2G spectrum at 2001 prices, thus flouting all rules and procedures to be followed in a parliamentary democratic set up. The process followed for spectrum allocation was also unfair, considering the fact that DoT did not follow its own guidelines on eligibility conditions, arbitrarily changed the cut off date for receipt of applications post facto and altered the conditions of the FCFS (first-come first-served) procedure it had been following, gave unfair advantage of certain companies over others thus creating an environment which can not be perceived as transparent and fair.”
As the CAG Report makes clear, the manipulations to the stated first-come first-served policies were done to benefit certain parties. It again substantiates what Yechury had brought out in his May letter to the PM. The original first-come first-served had the application date as defining who are first-come. On Jan 10, 2010 this was changed to who fulfils LOI conditions first amongst the parties selected. CAG states, “Thus DoT deviated from its declared FCFS (first-cum-first-served) policy though MOCIT (Minister of Communications & IT) maintained that it was continuing ‘with the policy for processing of applications’