New Delhi: From the time allegations of misappropriation during the bidding for allocation of 2G spectrum surfaced, till Telecom Minister A Raja’s ouster, high drama charged both politics in Delhi and Tamil Nadu. So what exactly is the Spectrum Scam that led to all this?
WHAT IS SPECTRUM SCAM?
* 2G licenses issued to private telecom players at throwaway prices in 2008
* CAG: Spectrum scam has cost the government Rs. 1.76 lakh crore
* CAG: Rules and procedures flouted while issuing licenses
WHAT ARE THE CHARGES ON FORMER TELECOM MINISTER A RAJA?
CHEAP TELECOM LICENSES
* Entry fee for spectrum licenses in 2008 pegged at 2001 prices
* Mobile subscriber base had shot up to 350 million in 2008 from 4 million in 2001
NO PROCEDURES FOLLOWED
* Rules changed after the game had begun
* Cut-off date for applications advanced by a week
* Licenses issued on a first-come-first-served basis
* No proper auction process followed, no bids invited
* Raja ignored advice of TRAI, Law Ministry, Finance Ministry
* TRAI had recommended auctioning of spectrum at market rates
FAVOURITISM, CORPORATES ENCASH PREMIUM
* Unitech, Swan Telecom got licenses without any prior telecom experience
* Swan Telecom given license even though it did not meet eligibility criteria
* Swan got license for Rs. 1537 crore, sold 45% stake to Etisalat for Rs. 4200 crore
* Unitech Wireless got license for Rs. 1661 crore, sold 60% stake for Rs. 6200 crore
*All nine companies paid DoT only Rs. 10,772 crore for 2G licences