2G spectrum scam: Kapil Sibal passes the buck to NDA

New Delhi: Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal today said that "all decisions on the allocation of 2G spectrum starting from 2003 were incorrect."

Mr Sibal said that the first-come-first-served policy was introduced by the NDA  and went against the decision of the cabinet at that time. It deviated from the Telecom Policy cleared for the country in 1999.

"We are referring all these materials to CBI",  said Sibal.

The Telecom Minister said that from 2003 to 2008, no operator has paid for spectrum.

Mr Sibal was summarizing the report of Justice Shivraj Patil, who was appointed in December to look into the processes followed for all spectrum allocation starting with 2001 when the NDA was in power. Comprehensive spectrum reforms and penalty on hoarding spectrum have been suggested by the one-man committee report.

Mr Sibal's predecessor A Raja was accused in court by the CBI yesterday of rigging the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008 to largely benefit  Swan and Unitech  -  two companies who reportedly cost the government Rs. 2200 crore. Both sold equity to foreign investors for significant profit after they were given their licenses.

After Raja and two bureaucrats who worked closely with him were arrested, the CBI is now prepping to arrest Pradip Baijal, the former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority  of India (TRAI).  Mr Baijal's term extended from 2003 to 2006. 

The CBI says it does not have evidence yet on a trail of money that would establish Mr Raja got kickbacks from the  companies that won licenses for mobile networks in 2008.