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2G: PAC to question former DoT officials

New Delhi: Two top former officials of the Department of Telecom, who had claimed to have opposed the manner in which 2G spectrum licences were allocated, will be appearing before the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to present their views on the issue.

D.S. Mathur, who retired as Telecom Secretary a few days before the 2G spectrum was allocated in January 2008, and Manju Madhavan, former member (Finance) in Telecom Commission have been asked to appear on January 21 before the PAC in connection with the spectrum allocation irregularities, sources said.

Mr. Mathur and Ms. Madhavan, who have been called for “oral evidence”, are expected to be quizzed about the developments that preceded controversial allocation of 2G spectrum for which A Raja had to quit as Telecom Minister.

Mr. Mathur, who retired on December 31, 2007, had claimed that Mr. Raja was determined to grant a huge number of licences from the day he joined office.

He had alleged that Mr. Raja managed to advance the cut-off date for processing the applications for licences in October 2007 itself, even though it was announced only on January 10, 2008, hours before the licences were granted.

Ms. Madhavan, then the Member-Finance in the Telecom Commission, had sent a note recommending revision of rates at which the licences were being granted.

Ms. Madhavan sought voluntary retirement after proceeding on leave in 2007.

In her note, Ms. Madhavan had reportedly argued that the rates should be revised as they did not reflect the current market dynamics.

She had reportedly proposed three alternatives to the minister, which would have fetched the government higher revenues. The then DoT Secretary had reportedly endorsed her views on the file.

Former DoT Secretary Siddharth Behura and former TRAI Chairperson Pradip Baijal have already appeared before the Committee headed by BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi.

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