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Recover losses from firms that were given 2G spectrum for a pittance
Also suspend officials guilty of irregularities
NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday demanded the immediate removal of Union Communications Minister A. Raja, and called for a thorough probe into the 2G spectrum scam in view of the latest findings of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, which have put the loss to the exchequer — due to underpricing of radio waves — at Rs.1.76 lakh crore.
“Our stand vindicated”
“The CAG's report has vindicated our stand that Mr. Raja and senior telecom officials were involved in the mega scam. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should immediately remove Mr. Raja from the Ministry to ensure an impartial and speedy probe into the entire scam,” Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told journalists here.
The Left parties would raise the matter in the winter session of Parliament if the Prime Minister failed to take any action in the matter.
Demanding the suspension of all telecom officials against whom prima facie cases existed of irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation, Mr. Yechury said the government should now recover losses from the companies which benefited by getting spectrum at throwaway prices.
Alleging that Dr. Singh was “patronising crony capitalism by keeping mum despite being aware of the mega scam,” Mr. Yechury said 85 out of 122 2G licences awarded in 2008 were given to companies that did not qualify for them, while rules were arbitrarily changed to benefit certain companies.
“Even the Ministries of Finance and Law had objected to it…but instead of referring the matter to the Cabinet or an Empowered Group of Ministers as per the rules of governance, the scam was allowed to happen,” he said.
“The 3G spectrum auction has already proved the potential of the Indian telecom sector…all those who were given 2G spectrum for a pittance should be asked to pay the real price for spectrum…”
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