2G spectrum scam may be India's biggest scandal: Advani

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Old 18-Oct-2010
2G spectrum scam may be India's biggest scandal: Advani

New Delhi October 18:

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said that the 2G spectrum scam may be the country's biggest scandal since Independence.

The BJP leader also welcomed the move by the government to set up a committee to look into the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and hoped that no wrongdoer will be spared. In the latest post on his blog, Advani referred to headlines last week about the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on 2G spectrum allocation.

"The Comptroller and Auditor General has reported that A. Raja's Telecom Ministry carried out the entire spectrum allocation in 2008 in an 'arbitrary manner' ignoring the advice of the Law Ministry, the Finance Ministry and even the Prime Minister," Advani wrote. He said the CAG has assessed the loss suffered by the country due to this arbitrary approach at a stupendous Rs.1.40 lakh crores.

"This CAG assessment may well make this spectrum scam the biggest scandal since Independence," he said. Citing the CAG report, he said: "The telecom ministry for no apparent and logical or valid reasons ignored the advice of ministries of finance and law, avoided the deliberations of the Telecom Commission to allocate 2G spectrum, a scarce finite national asset...Despite all agencies having knowledge of scarcity and underpricing of spectrum, the entry fee for issue of licences continued to be pegged at the rates determined in 2001."

Advani noted that the CAG has rejected telecom ministry's argument that spectrum allocation was done in accordance with the policy laid down by the previous government. The report says that the claim that the policy of predecessors was followed is wrong and the Cabinet in 2003 had directed auction for all allotments in future, Advani wrote. Referring to another headline last week on the Supreme Court's observations in a corruption case, Advani said these reflected how angry and exasperated even the country's highest court feels when it repeatedly runs into corruption cases.

On the CWG inquiry, Advani said: "It is highly gratifying that immediately after the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has announced that the allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement in connection with the games would be probed." "The country hopes that the probe would be thorough, and that no wrongdoer would be spared. And there would be no search just for scapegoats," he said.

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