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Updated: January 7, 2011 02:27 IST

Major “revelations” on 2G likely soon: Sibal

Aarti Dhar
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Kapil Sibal.
Kapil Sibal.

People will be told why telecom policy was changed in 2001

The government is expected to make some major “revelations” on the 2G spectrum allocation scandal in a few days, to bring the “truth before the people,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday. The announcement would cover the gamut of issues including issuance of licences and allocation of spectrum during 2001-2009, he told journalists here, while releasing a new page on the Human Resource Development Ministry website dedicated to non-resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin to mark the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas beginning Friday.

“The revelations will tell the people why the telecom policy was changed in 2001, what the Tenth Plan document said, why revenue sharing was allowed, the enormous losses to the government as a result of this, and the extent of financial gains to people.”

The government had already taken corrective measures, which would otherwise have taken several months through the process of a Joint Parliamentary Committee. A CBI probe had been ordered, notices sent to telecom companies, and the government had already collected Rs. 93 crore from new telecom operators for missing the network rollout deadline, out of a total of Rs. 219 crore which was due, the Minister pointed out.

JPC demand “absurd”

Taking on the BJP for insisting on a JPC probe, the Minister said the demand was “absurd” and pointed out that the government had given the party several alternatives to end the impasse that resulted in the washout of the winter session of Parliament. “We were ready for a special session of Parliament, debate in the House to get a sense of the members on the JPC, and even letting investigating agencies work with the Public Accounts Committee. But they did not budge. This is no way for a democracy to function,” he said.

“We have no choice but to go to the people and tell them the truth. We must tell the people that the BJP is misleading the people. Instead of “white lies” there will be only truth.”

A committee was already set up to examine the appropriateness of procedures followed by the Department of Telecommunications in issuing licences and allocating spectrum during 2001-2009. The panel, chaired by Justice (retd.) Shivraj V. Patil, was scheduled to submit its report anytime now.

Dismissing the findings of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal that kickbacks were paid to some individuals in the purchase of Bofors guns, Mr. Sibal said there was nothing new in the ITAT's report as it just endorsed what was already stated by the Commissioner of Income Tax.

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If the next session of parliament cannot function, so be it. Even otherwise, it is not functioning effectively. Let the JPC be constituted. Else, the suspicion that Congress is trying to hoodwink the public cannot be erased. Congress is portraying that it is only the opposition that is asking for JPC.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Jan 8, 2011 at 16:32 IST

Mr Sibal is trying to divert the attention by making empty noises. The preusmption is that if the allottees were made to pay as per 2007 prices, the Government could have earned that much money. Another point in this whole episode relates to disposing of the spectrum 2G licenses for huge profits by the allottees. The question is who all got benefits out of this manipulation of process? Will Mr Sibal explain about this?

from:  S.R. Muralidharan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2011 at 14:31 IST

Mr. Sibal has to explain why the Govt. not taking action against CAG, if the CAG had given wrong calculation on 2G Spectrum?

from:  Venkayya Inuganti
Posted on: Jan 8, 2011 at 14:14 IST

Kapil wants to hide behind the wall of words. He is unnecessarily geting into a war that is on wrong side. He has done good work on education and he should continue doing it.

from:  Hemant Rathod
Posted on: Jan 8, 2011 at 09:59 IST

Kapil Sibal has clearly made an ass of himself ,by saying that the scarcest resource such as a communication spectrum should be given for free , following a precedence, even it had been the case. This is typical of a non-technical ass heading a communication Ministry which has a lot of techincal content in it. Even by his own admission if we moderate the value of 2G spectrun pricing vis-a-vis 3G spectrum considering the latter is superior and it was auctioned 2 years later, the loss by his own admission calculates to close to 99K crores which is not a small loss. To counter this 99K crore loss he says that the 10th Plan document by NDA specifies revenue accrument to the Govt. as only secondary, so we can conveniently make this 0 Crore loss to the Exchequer. This guy is making a zero of himself, wonder what some of his learned colleagues, esp. the PM who is an Economist, has to say on the mathematical proficiency of his Telecom Minister.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 21:46 IST

One thing is clear - all of us express and share the same anguish and frustration. They (all involved) all knew that except this, we the people cant do anything more, which has been true so far. All of our constitutional bodies are not trustworthy anymore - including EC, SC, JPC..etc. There is much a bigger picture which we all fail to see. What if all this is a thoroughly planned show. Why not do this? Go global and spread whats happening in India. Wouldnt there be a single soul, institution that is empowered to set things right in a country populated by 1 billion and odd poor souls who is simply working their asses off to benefit the soulless crooks? I dont believe even in animal kingdoms, would there be such a poor treatment meted out to fellow beings. >Finally, you know what the politicians must be thinking: 'This too will pass!'

from:  Sivakumar
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 19:20 IST

Mr.Sibal, You can cheat the illiterate public and win the elections. The comments in this column should teach you atleast this lesson that you cannot cheat the educated online readers. Can you explain what sort of CBI investigation if the FIR does not even name A.Raja who caused 1.76 lakhs crores of loss to the exchequer. Congress is trying to protect its top leader by disagreeing to JPC. Let Congress/ UPA agree to JPC and come out clean before we will listen to your jokes.

from:  Mohit Shepherd
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 17:12 IST

What does he mean by 'We have no choice but to go to the people and tell them the truth.'? Do they consider not teling the truth an option? Have they been hiding information that should have been public?

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 14:00 IST

If the JPC is formed, they will have the authority to verify what the NDA has done and the loss to the nation due to the NDA's policy of revenue sharing. Then why the UPA should oppose the appoinment of a JPC which will bring all the misdeeds of the NDA (if any). The fact is the present enquiry commision led by former justice Mr. Shivaraj Patil will be biased and only the NDA role will be investigated and released to the public. And what does Mr. Sibal mean by saying that action has already being taken? Where is the culprit and where is the punishment to the culprit.

from:  Rajaram
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 12:57 IST

It is all the more necessary that such 'revelations' as the Government is to make are also probed by a JPC. There is no justification for the adamant stand of 'No JPC'.

from:  R.M.Murthy
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 12:53 IST

I can not understand the COCK & BULL story. Why this Govt. is flatly opposing the JPC enquiry?
The present political trend shows one thing.
The politicical leaders are now BOLD to committ all sorts of frauds to mint money out of poor tax payers hard-earned money and openly argueing to PROVE THE CRIME, again at the cost of poor tax payers hard-earned money

from:  Viswanathan. N.
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 12:04 IST

Mr.Sibal. You may be a good advocate. Please don't try to fool the general public. Even if your oratory skill may convince the corrupt power centres, don't forget that real power in a democracy is general public. Please provide general public all documents on Adarsh flat scam (your Congress govt. is involved), CWG Scam(again Cong.), 2G spectrum(again cong.) If BJP did wrong in 2001, you are in power thereafter. Why you did not take corrective action? Even you should have taken legal action against NDA after you came to power!! Please don't fool us.

from:  Muthu
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 12:03 IST

Investigation by various investigating agencies under the supervision of the Supreme Court is the best option to bring out the truth and punish the guilty.Neither PAC nor JPC cannot bring out the truth. JPC consists of members of all political parties;they will go on political lines only;UPA members may try to defend Spectrum allocation during their rule and NDA members will support Spectrum allocation during their rule. JPC cannot raid the premises of suspects,seize incriminating documents,interrogate suspects and witnesses and record their statements based on the documents seized,investigate the case,file chargesheets against the accused in the competent courts and book the real culprits; JPC can only bring out some reports which will go on political lines. What happened to JPC probe on Bofors ? How much public money wasted towards Bofors case ? Even after several years many politicians are demanding further pursuance of the csae costing several crores of public money, even though everyone knows the futility of pursuing the case. Opposition NDA was in power for many years in the Centre.Why NDA didnot catch the culprits during their regime?.Pubic memory is short and we public are fools to be easily fooled by politicians to achieve their selfishmotives/agendas. India should switch over to Presidential form of Democracy so as to minimise corruption and save the country; otherwise small political parties like DMK will take advantage of the political system and can loot public money.It is not surprising that politicians are against Presidential form of democracy as they fear that they cannot loot public money easily in such a form of democracy.

from:  Preakasam
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:41 IST

Let us assume that the people of this country will accept as true the awaited revelations which Mr.Sibal says will "tell the people why the telecom policy was changed in 2001, what the Tenth Plan document said, why revenue sharing was allowed, the enormous losses to the government as a result of this, and the extent of financial gains to people." However, Mr.Sibal, will such acceptance automatically make spectrum allotments by your government aboveboard? We, the people of India, who are in any case apparently considered dumb by you and your government, find it difficult to understand the logic of it all. Hence this doubt.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:35 IST

Congress is trying very hard to find something wrong done by BJP in the past to justify their wrong doing at very very large scale in 2G , CWG, Adarsh housing, Radia tape or Bofors. People of this country are not fools and the Congress should understand this. BJP is ready to probe their tenure also by JPC but because Congress is worried that may be their big leaders will get exposed by JPC probe ,they dont want to do it. Everybody know about CBI and other committee, even now a days a retired cheif justice of india comes under scaner so we dont know whom to believe. There should not be any comparision between the scams done by this government and others. People want the money looted by currept politician back.

from:  Mansukh
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:21 IST

India is not a real democracy as the true principles of democracy are never followed by any party whether in power or not. At best we have semblance of some democratic tools (JPC) and constitutional institutions (SC, EC etc). These are the only hope for the people to redeem the nation (which may be already too late!). The average Indian born today has no chance at leading a good life with good freedoms, safety net of rule of law and a chance at economic prosperity. Congress does not want the truth to come out in this case. There was a major loss to the public on the sale of highly valuable and limited asset owned by the people (i.e. spectrum). This was sold at throwaway prices to financially benefit a select few private parties (politicians, bureaucrats, telecom companies and even foreign investors with mala fide intentions against India). This is in violation of Indian law (e.g. PCA), not to mention violation of the most basic sense of ethics. It is too sad that no one will ever be brought to justice. Tell me if there is a better definition of a banana republic?

from:  Venkata
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:16 IST

The revelations can be put forth before the JPC too, but nope, a JPC would find incriminating evidence against a whole gamut of other politicians too. Hence Mr. Sibal decides to deflect attention to the NDA policies. Yes, we all want to know the truth about that spectrum allocation too, but why dosent Mr Minister have any revelations about the current scam?

from:  Abheet Dwivedi
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:08 IST

After all these arguments and allegations, every one knows what is going to happen in the end. Whoever is involved in this scam will be set free, taking any actions against them. But still allegations continue. Congress version will be: 'PAC, which is headed by the opposition, had conducted a thorough investigation into the matter. But still they couldn't find any one guilty.' BJP version will be : 'It was UPA who didn't allow the JPC probe, otherwise everything would have been crystal clear by now.'

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 11:08 IST

Mr.Sibal, when we are talking about scam amounting to lakhs of crores, you proudly proclaim that some 93 crore rupees have been recovered. Are you trying to pull wool over our eyes? Instead of tyring to score point over BJP, your govt should accept for JPC inquiry and explore all the irregularities including those that happened during NDA regime also.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 10:58 IST

Mr Sibal's 'revelations' that BJP too played a spoilsport in 2G licence allotments, would be interesting to know. Yet the people want a JPC for a complete impartial inquiry. He can submit the list of his discoveries to JPC to belie the popular belief that the Govt may be shielding an individual, the de facto head of the current dispensation in power.

from:  VMN Sharma
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 10:19 IST

I wish to ask Mr Sibal, whether he can explain to the people why 'First Come First Served' was chosen instead of auction ?

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 10:14 IST

Please don't respond to BJP. We need response to observation made by esteem SC. That rules were flawed and the PM favoured RAJA and CVC was appointment made by PM. Even Ex-CJI was involved in all the mess. And yes how effective is the control of corporate in UPA govt. And you want us to trust CVC, CBI and SC when all are at receiving end of brutal assualt under your esteem dispensation?

from:  raj
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 10:07 IST

Let us assume that you have given the Oppn. all the aternatives to a JPC! If the Congress party has nothing to hide, what is the harm in agreeing to a JPC? They speak of disruption to Parliament. What do you think is happening now, Kapil? Clearly, the defensive behaviour of a preachy Pranab, and his evasive talk points only to a clear intention that they have something to hide. As the ruling party, let Congress agree to stripping naked and allowing a probe of all its figurative orifices, if they have nothing to hide. However, this too will not happen, because they do have much to hide. The saddest part is that all our motly collection of politicians have something to hide. The entire bunch of them have up to no good for decades, and the only way out is for some sort of electoral wave of realization from voters, that will sweep away (and out) this abjectly corrupt class of Indians, so that our country's revenues are better spent on common services. But no, the system is skewed in their (the corrupt politician's) favour. We need a new grassroot movement to get this tsunami going!

from:  Ramgopal Dass
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 09:22 IST

If Minister Kapil Sibal chooses to make an ass of himself,who can stop him. Things and circumstances were different. Did not UPA got votes claiming that they will do better than NDA. But UPA has destroyed every aspect of not only the nation but the society itself. 'aam admi' in whose name votes were stolen is in greatest pain. Even middle classes earning Rs 30,000 or more per month find themselves in dire straits. Security and integrity of India has been compromised in Kashmir and Tribal /Maoist areas for political considerations. UPA is not working for India and 'aam admi'.

from:  Bhagwat Goel
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 08:09 IST

It is old congress tactic to sidestep the issue. They will bring umpteen reasons to nail the previous govts. The crux of the matter is why RAJA was allowed to give a go by of the rules and advice of the highest authority of the Govt.

from:  Ramakrishnan K A
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 05:45 IST

Mr. Sibal has not explained why the Govt. took no action to rein in A.Raja even though he had flouted the PM's suggestions made in 2007. If there were irregularities in the past, the matter should be investigated and the guilty punished. However, past irregularities do not justify the Govt.'s inaction against irregularities committed during the tenure of the current Govt. Why is the Govt. adamantly opposing probe into the entire 2G scam by a Joint Parlimentary Commission as demanded by the entire opposition?

One can understand why leaders in the Congress are so upset with the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal's Report regarding the the Bofors issue which has upset their plans to getting the Courts to bury the matter for good.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 02:16 IST
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