Opposition members have given their dissent notes

The final report of the 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2G spectrum allocation issue is ready in a book form. It will be presented to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar with dissent notes of committee members in a day or two.

Members of the BJP, the CPI(M), the CPI, the DMK, the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal have given their voluminous dissent notes.

The final report of the JPC, headed by Congress MP P.C. Chacko, which was adopted on September 27, exonerated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram from any wrongdoing and blamed the then Communications Minister and DMK MP A. Raja as solely responsible for the controversial allocation. However, the dissent notes, given by most of the Opposition members, blamed both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister along with Mr. Raja for the issue. They said the spectrum allocation would not have been possible but for the approval of Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram.

It is to be seen how much of the contents of the dissent notes are added in the final report as the Chairman has powers to delete the portions/words which are defamatory or are against the parliamentary procedures and rules.

The final report, approved with the 16:11 voting pattern, blamed Mr. Raja for “misleading” the Prime Minister and “belying” the assurances given to him. Two members of the JD(U) abstained from voting and Gopinath Munde (BJP) did not turn up for the meeting. Two BSP members and one SP member supported the report.

CPI Parliamentary Party leader Gurudas Dasgupta said he had given the longest dissent note to the Committee and many portions of it were deleted by Mr. Chacko. He had received a letter in this regard from the Chairman.

The JPC report rubbished the loss figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor-General and said it was “ill-conceived.”

As the Committee was asked to look into the telecom policies of both the NDA and the UPA governments and allocation of spectrum between 1998 and 2008, the final report blamed the decision taken by the then NDA government, despite opposition by the then Telecom Minister Jagmohan, to grant concessions to telecom operators on non-recovery of “huge amount” of licence fee.

The report said the NDA government had to “forego” revenue to the tune of Rs. 42,080.34 crore while offering the Migration Package to cellular operators.

After the Speaker approves the report it will be tabled in Parliament.

The JPC was constituted on March 4, 2012, with 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, after the Opposition protests. The JPC examined the telecom policies of the NDA and UPA governments and allocation of spectrum between 1998 and 2008.

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