New Scandal in Telecommunications

by Sunanda K. Chavan on Friday 19 November 2010, 3:49 PM | Category: Miscellaneous| View: 1114 views
 
 
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The telecommunications ministry's handling of a landmark allocation of mobile telephone spectrum. It caused more than $38.9 billion in lost potential revenue for the government.  The allegations over the mishandling of the spectrum allocation forced the resignation of Andimuthu Raja as telecommunications minister last weekend, the latest government official to resign under pressure. Surprisingly without inviting the tender the spectrum has been licensed out to them on first come first serve basis and Govt got revenue of Rs 10772 Crore only, which was just what they would have got in Yr 2001 based calculations. The flawed process is also a black mark for India's telecoms revolution, which many tout as one of the most successful aspects of modernization in the past decade. While there were about four million mobile services subscribers in 2001, the number had swelled to more than 300 million by 2008. India now is the second-largest market behind China for wireless services with more than 670 million users. The telecom department also "arbitrarily" changed the cut-off date for applying for bandwidth to Sept. 25, 2007, from Oct. 1, 2007, to favor some companies that had applied earlier, while leaving others out, the audit body said.  85 of 122 new licenses, which were bundled with the bandwidth allocation, were issued to ineligible companies that didn't have the required capital to seek bandwidth.

 

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