Reiterating its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has suggested some immediate steps to recover the losses the exchequer incurred.

The party wanted the Centre to cancel all licences granted to the operators and take back the spectrum allotted at “rock-bottom prices.” The government could recover substantial amounts by auctioning off the spectrum by duly following the procedures laid down in the policy.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, who released the Telugu version of the party's booklet on corruption here on Wednesday, said the government should focus on recovering the huge losses, estimated at Rs. 1.76 lakh crore, while opening an inquiry against those guilty of lapses.

He said several questions remained unanswered; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should clarify why he remained silent though he knew that the spectrum allocation was being made in violation of the norms. Dr. Singh had addressed a letter to the then Communications Minister, A. Raja, as early as January 2008, stressing the need for the Ministry to follow a transparent and open procedure. “Why steps were not initiated to stop the losses?”

Parliamentary probe

Recalling that the CPI (M) had addressed a letter to the Prime Minister in February 2008, he said several people were involved in the episode, and it was established that the companies had influenced the Telecom Ministry. “The inquiry by the CBI is not enough, and a parliamentary probe is needed.”

Mr. Karat said the Congress-led government was intrinsically connected to big businesses — influenced and run by them. Some of the Ministers themselves had businesses. The government was trying to cover it up, but it was not possible.

He said the JPC should cover all aspects of the 2G spectrum allocation dating back to 1999, when the telecom policy was introduced.

Asked about the CBI raids in Chennai, Mr. Karat said everyone was aware that the corrupt practices involving Mr. Raja were linked to the DMK. “We are hopeful that the investigations would bring out full facts.”