BJP flip-flopped on Telcom: Ratan Tata

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - Coming out in support of the Government telecom policy, which is being litigated in the Supreme Court, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday said that we should all note that many of the flip-flops in the telecom policies occurred during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime.

Tata’s strong comments came in an open letter to former telecom entrepreneur and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar who had hit out at Tata for allegedly not being transparent and being one of the biggest beneficiaries of the government telecom policy.

“Your affiliation to a particular political party is well-known and it appears that political aspirations and their endeavour to embarrass the Prime Minister and the ruling party,” Tata told Chandrasekhar.

“Former Telecom Minister A Raja or for that matter any minister has not extended any advantage to group company Tata Teleservices, he said.

He further said that the government auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), has not ascribed any value to 48 new GSM licences issued to incumbents during 2004-2008 and 65 mhz of additional spectrum.

“I support the ongoing 2G scam investigation and I believe that period of probe should be extended to 2001, Tata said.

Chandrasekhar had accused Tatas of adopting double standards and had said in an open letter to Ratan Tata that by virtue of dual technology, according to the CAG, Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has caused a loss to the exchequer to the tune of about Rs 19,074.80 crore.

On the issue of “out of turn” allotment to TTSL (as claimed by Chandrasekhar), Tata said, “You have chosen to misrepresent the facts as they suit you to justify the claims you have made.”

“The company has strictly followed the applicable policy and has been severely disadvantaged… by certain powerful politically connected operators who have willfully subverted policy under various telecom ministers which has been subsequently been regularised to their advantage,” Tata said.

He also asked Chandrasekhar why he chose not to mention about the excess spectrum held by powerful GSM operators and that too free of cost.

The 2G spectrum allocation has reportedly caused an alleged loss of Rs1.76 lakh crores to the Government, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has stated in a damning report. (ANI)

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