‘FinMin, DoT didn’t approach Cabinet on 2G pricing’

New Delhi: Though the Finance Ministry and the Telecom Department (DoT) held different opinions on the issue of pricing of 2G spectrum, neither approached the Union Cabinet for a decision, a former Cabinet Secretary has told the JPC looking into the radiowave scam.

"In this case, there was no reference to a dispute between the two departments requiring intervention of the Cabinet. The desire for a Cabinet decision was expressed by neither department. The matter was also not taken up by either department for a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) at any stage," K M Chandrasekhar told JPC in a written submission.

He also said "the fact that there was an ongoing correspondence between the Department of Economic Affairs (in the Finance Ministry) and DoT did not mean that there was a dispute between the two that could not be resolved between them."

The JPC had asked him to explain why the DoT was not advised to approach the Cabinet when there was a "clear difference of opinion" between the Department of Economic Affairs and the DoT on the issue of spectrum pricing.

Chandrasekhar, who was Cabinet Secretary between June 2007 and June 2011, said the responsibility of bringing differences of opinion to the Cabinet rests with the Secretary of the department concerned and the Cabinet Secretariat only examines the Cabinet note to ensure that the procedures laid down in the Transaction of Business Rules, 1961 have been followed.