Pitroda favors open, transparent e-auction

Edison (New Jersey): Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister, on Monday favored an open and transparent e-auction system for all government auctions and tenders, including the sale of spectrum bandwidth to telecom providers, to avoid any legal hassle and bad name to the government.

Talking to PTI on Sunday on his way to Chicago after a visit to New York to address the two-day Pan-IIT Conference, Pitroda, a tech guru considered the architect of India`s modern telecom revolution, said: "We have to learn from the past actions and happenings."

"The government and the industry will get the best out of it. We need to use electronics and open transparent process and have e-procurement. Why should we indulge in old methods of auction when we have modern technology at our disposal?" he queried.

In this regard, Pitroda noted the 3G auction in the country last year was transparent and there were no complications whatsoever in the bidding process.

Steps should be taken to implement e-auction and modern technology in all government auctions and tenders, he emphasised.

"The 3G spectrum auction last year has shown that auction of spectrum is the best way forward. E-auction helps all parties and public to know what had really happened and why should we not use it in all the government process," he said.

"When technology is available and India is on top it, what prevents us from going ahead with the e-auctions and dispense with the old and antiquated system of tenders and procurements?" he asked.

Pitroda had last year submitted a report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on measures to revive state-run telecom major BSNL, but so far, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has not commented on or implemented the recommendations in the report.

The DoT has kept mum on proposals such as implementing a hire-and-fire policy for inefficient staff and reduction of excess employees in a bid to revamp the ailing BSNL and gear it up to meet the competition of private sector telecom companies.

However, he refused to comment on the ongoing 2G controversy.