The Joint Parliamentary Committee probing alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum on Thursday began the process of questioning officials DoT, TRAI and Ministry of Finance.
Former TRAI chairman MS Verma on Thursday deposed before the committee.Later in the evening, Chairperson PC Chacko briefed mediapersons that Department of Telecom has pegged the losses incurred by the national exchequer due to the implementation of the migration package in 1999 at over Rs 43,500 crore.The JPC on 2G was today told by top officials of the Finance Ministry that the Telecom Ministry, then headed by Dayanidhi Maran, had opposed inclusion of spectrum pricing in the terms of reference of the Group of Minister in 2006.
Making a presentation before the JPC, Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan said that the Finance Ministry had suggested in 2006 that the Group of Ministers on telecom should decide on spectrum pricing and the same should be in the terms of reference of the ministerial panel.
P C Chacko said Maran did not agree with the Finance Ministry suggestion because he felt it was the prerogative of the administrative ministry to decide the spectrum price.
“The decision had serious implications as the (spectrum) pricing could have been discussed and decided at an appropriate forum,” Chacko said.
Chacko said the Union Cabinet had approved the Terms of Reference for the Group of Ministers (GoM) on allocation of additional spectrum and pricing was not part of it.