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Most allegations in telecom sector date back to NDA govt'

By Stuti Roy
February 17, 2011 17:30 IST
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Amid a raging controversy over the 2G spectrum scam, Minister of State for Telecom Sachin Pilot said most of the allegations that are cropping up date back to the National Democratic Alliance regime.

Pilot said this when his views were sought on former Telecom Minister Arun Shourie questioning the sanctity of a one-man committee and terming the report as biased. "I don't want to comment on Mr Shourie's statements because I think he does that very regularly. I think we have to uphold the sanctity of the processes. If there is a commission that has been constituted, if the head has given recommendations or a report to the government, let the facts come out. "Anyone who says this was done right or wrong should have some substance to it and the fact really is that all these allegations that are coming now date back to the NDA regime and that is a matter of history. I can't change that, nor can Mr Shourie," Pilot told PTI on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

On Shourie's claim that he had informed about the spectrum scam to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pilot shot back and said, "Why did he (Shourie) not point it out to Mr Vajpayee when he was the Telecom

Minister? There are historical facts that are there for everyone to see... There are legitimate question marks, big ones that emanate from the time when the NDA was in power and Vajpayee was the prime minister and allocations were done. What sort of manners were adopted, institutions were ignored, lot of people have alleged a lot of misconduct at that time. But I think we must put all of this to rest. No one can look back and make false allegations and throw charges at one another," he said. He, however, hoped that the investigations, which are going on at full pace, will come to an end in the very near future and strict action will be taken against wrong-doers, regardless of their position. What is more important for us is to now understand the needs of the industry and to have a policy framework that creates a positive environment for growth to continue," he said.

The new telecom policy, work on which is in progress, will clearly define spectrum allocation, usage, sharing, mergers and acquisitions. The whole ambit of things needs to be put in the public domain with clarity, taking all the stakeholders' views on board and working with a unilateral focus on providing good quality services, he said.

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Stuti Roy in Barcelona
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