New Delhi: Telecom minister A Raja on Monday dismissed allegations of corruption in allotment of 2G spectrum in 2008 saying the government followed the policies of previous NDA regime and the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
“Since 1999, 2G spectrum was never auctioned...even in the latest report of Trai it did not recommend auction route to maintain level playing field between two sets of operators — (pre-2008 and post-2008),” Raja told in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
M Thambidurai (AIADMK) alleged that in view nearly Rs70,000 crore collection from auction of 3G spectrum, it is clear that the exchequer has lost Rs1 lakh crore by giving 2G spectrum at throw away prices in 2008.
He also demanded a discussion on the issue.
“Allegations and counter allegations are common in public life,” Raja shouted back and said spectrum has been allocated as per the rules.
He informed the House that 3G spectrum has been auctioned and the process was completed on 19 May,2010.
The minister said that as committed earlier, the 3G spectrum would be distributed to all successful bidders on 1 September for launching services on commercial basis.
Two telecom PSUs — BSNL and MTNL — were alloted 3G spectrum in advance on condition that they would pay equal to highest bid amount.
MTNL has already launched 3G services in both cities of its operations (Delhi and Mumbai) and BSNL is operational in 463 cities, the Minister said.
He also said that tariffs are fixed by the operators and as in case of 2G mobile service, tariffs for 3G would also come down as and when the operators start their operations.
On the difference between two services (2G and 3G), Raja said 2G is primarily for voice services while 3G would be used for video and data transfer services.