Sunday, January 30, 2011

US$39 billion scam involving A. Raja

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has tightened the noose on former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja and at least two private companies in the 2G scam. Midway into the investigations, CBI sources say that there are sufficient grounds to charge Raja and two private companies — Swan Telecom and Unitech — of criminal misconduct and criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the IPC.

"Raja and senior telecom officials bent the rules and in fact invented new rules to favour a few private companies. Swan and Unitech made a nearly five-fold profit even before they rolled out the 2G spectrum services,’’ says a senior CBI official.

Reliance Communications apparently had a 10.7 percent stake in Swan Telecom, whereas Department of Telecommunications (DoT) rules say that a telecom operator can’t own more than 10 percent stake in another company operating in the same service area.

India may have lost up to US$39 billion in revenue -- equivalent to the defence budget -- as the telecoms ministry gave out lucrative licences and radio spectrum in 2007/08 at below-market prices, the state auditor said in a report.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been criticised for sitting on a request to grant permission to charge Raja with corruption, and been forced to answer questions from the Supreme Court.

IMO: Well, Manmohan Singh was educated in economics at Oxford, England . This is the same place as PM Cameron and Tony Blair were educated. Much work done at Oxford is extremely good, but the place regrettably has produced a number of cheats and bums like Cameron and Blair as well.

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