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DoT puts loss due to migration policy during NDA rule at Rs. 43,523 crore

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Kronus, Jul 8, 2011.

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  1. Kronus

    Kronus Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    DoT puts loss due to migration policy during NDA rule at Rs. 43,523 crore

    Adding a new dimension to the entire 2G spectrum scam, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Thursday told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that the national exchequer incurred a loss of over Rs.43,500 crore during the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government due to the migration package offered to cellular operators in 1999.

    “The DoT has told us that the financial implication due to migration package offered to cellular operators in 1999 was to the tune of Rs.43,523.92 crore. This is a tentative figure…we have asked the DoT to give us the details and break-up of the loss figure. Even the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India report (on 2G scam) has mentioned that there was a loss (due to migration policy) but has not quantified it,â€￾ JPC Chairman P. C. Chacko told journalists here.

    Under the National Telecom Policy-1999, all operators who were under the fixed licence fee regime were asked to migrate to a revenue-sharing regime where operators were required to pay a percentage of their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) as annual licence fee and spectrum usage charge to the government.

    Mr. Chacko said they have asked the DoT to calculate the losses to the national exchequer on account of granting a six-month license fee waiver to telecom operators when the migration package was being implemented. The losses due to the waiver was exclusive of the Rs.43,523.92 crore loss.

    “We have also asked the DoT to quantify the losses caused due to a 2 per cent reduction of Universal Access Service licence fee in 2004. This reduction in the UAS licence fee was opposed by the Finance Ministry. The losses to the exchequer on this account are pegged at Rs.968 crore for the in the first four years and Rs.885 crore per annum thereafter,â€￾ he said.

    The JPC Chairman also pointed out that that the Union Ministry of Finance had opposed DoT's move to treat arrears on account of licence fee as an entry fee, as the former said it was government revenue and the same should not be treated as entry fee. The Finance Ministry also objected to extension in the period of basic services licences from 15 years to 20 years and cellular licences from 10 years to 20 years without charging any fee, Mr. Chacko added.

    The JPC has begun recording of evidence of witnesses in 2G the scam and called the former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman, M.S. Verma, as it first witness. The former Telecom Secretaries and ex-TRAI Chairmen are also likely to appear before the JPC in the next couple of weeks.

    “The Committee had prepared a list of 80 witnesses who have been asked to present themselves before the Committee. These included top officers of a leading telecom firm and former telecom ministers. But now it seems more witnesses will appear before us. Former Ministers will be the last set of persons to appear before the Committee,â€￾ Mr. Chacko added.
     
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