Manmohan Singh must explain S-Band spectrum scam: Shahnawaz Hussain

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NEW DELHI - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain has demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh about the new and unique S-Band spectrum allocation scam.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, Hussain said the ministry comes directly under the Prime Minister, so he will have to answer to the nation.

“The Manmohan Singh government will have to answer, that the ministry which comes under him, has given the government company VSNL, 20 MHz of S-band spectrum for Rs. 12,847 crores whereas Devas was given 70 MHz of spectrum for barely Rs. 1000 crores, so we demand that action should be taken as soon as possible,” said Hussain.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari has said this entire thesis of pegging the 3-G auction as a benchmark for valuing spectrum and then qualifying everything else as a scam is absolutely bizarre.

“Without prejudice to the fact that the Prime Minister’s office and the Indian Space Research Organisation have both issued a comprehensive and a holistic denial/clarification. I would only like to say that this entire thesis of pegging or using the auction as a benchmark for valuing spectrum and then qualifying everything else as a scam is absolutely bizarre. There can be nothing more bizarre then that,” said Tiwari.

Tiwari added the Congress wants to see the Parliament to start functioning smoothly.

“The leader of the house took the initiative of inviting all the political parties to a discussion. The fact that all political parties responded is a very welcome step. We once again retreated and underscored our desire to see that the temple of democracy should start functioning as there is a process which is underway,” added Tiwari.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a statement which denied reports that a private company has been allotted a whopping 70MHZ of spectrum for barely Rs. 1000 crore through a deal with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which reports directly to the Prime Minister.

In a statement issued here, the PMO clarified that no decision has been taken by the Government to allocate space segment using S Band Spectrum to ANTRIX Corporation or Devas Multimedia.

“Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such reports are without basis in fact,” the statement added.

The Comptroller and Auditor General”s office and the Department of Space have already issued statements giving the factual position.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre, claiming that the reply of the PMO on the S-Band scam is unsatisfactory.

It was reported in a section of the media on Monday that ANTRIX Corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO entered into an agreement in 2005 with Devas Multimedia allowing use of 70 megahertz of S-band spectrum without inviting bids resulting in huge revenue loss to the exchequer. (ANI)

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