Amar Singh demands CBI probe into spectrum controversy

Amar Singh demands CBI probe into spectrum controversy

New Delhi: Amidst the raging telecom controversy, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has demanded a CBI inquiry into allotment of extra spectrum to GSM service providers, alleging this had resulted in loss of thousands of crores to the exchequer.

In a special mention in the Rajya Sabha, Singh alleged that private GSM players (which include Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular) have “hoarded more than 50 MHz" of airwaves as they have been allotted more than their contracted quantity of 6.2 MHz spectrum.

He was joined by CPM leader Sitaram Yechuri who said the spectrum allocation policy should ensure that the state-run companies (MTNL and BSNL) do not suffer losses.

Amar Singh’s remarks came in the backdrop of the telecom industry witnessing a divide over the spectrum issue, with the GSM camp opposing the Telecom Engineering Centre’s report and the CDMA camp supporting it.

The government constituted a review panel even as the TEC report was accepted in principle by telecom minister A Raja who had said in Parliament that increase in competition by allotting spectrum to new players would result in lowering of mobile tariffs by at least 50%.