Spectrum woes for BJP, now

New Delhi: The CAG has found various shortcomings in spectrum management by the telecom ministry that have led to losses to the government exchequer. The auditor found that a set of spectrum was allocated to a telecom operator in 2015 on first-cum-first-service basis in contravention of the recommendations of a committee, while 101 applications for microwave (MW) spectrum were pending with the government.

The CAG, in its report, said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had constituted a committee in December 2012 to look into the allotment of spectrum in various categories and proposed that the allotment in microwave band should be done through market-related process — auction. “However, in contravention of the committee’s recommendations, allocation of MW access spectrum has been done on FCFS basis till date, as was being done for 2G licence and access spectrum till 2009,” the report said.

The Supreme Court in 2012 had struck down FCFS policy in 2G spectrum allocation case of 2008-09 while cancelling 122 telecom permits that were granted spectrum through the process. According to the CAG’s report, the government had an adverse financial impact of around Rs 560 crore due to various instances of spectrum mismanagement by DoT.

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