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JPC quizzes former telecom secretary


New Delhi: The Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the alleged multi-crore 2G spectrum allocation scam Wednesday questioned A.V. Gokak, who was the telecom secretary during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule.

Gokak, who served on the post from November 1996 to August 1998, was quizzed about telecom policy that was followed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The multi-party panel examining India’s telecom policy from 1998 to 2008 against the backdrop of the 2G scam will on Thursday record the statement of Gokak’s successor Anil Kumar, who was telecom secretary from till February 2000.

The JPC, headed by Congress MP P.C. Chacko, will quiz Anil Kumar about the NDA’s telecom migration policy that allowed cellular operators to shift from fixed license fee regime to the revenue-sharing model.

Chacko told reporters that the committee was informed by the Department of Telecom (DoT) that the exchequer lost over Rs.43,523.92 crore due to the migration policy.

The alleged financial losses were due to the concession offered to telecom operators in the wake of migration policy pursued in 1999.

The panel was formed after persistent demands by the opposition, chiefly the Bharatiya Janata Party, following allegations of irregularities in the allocation of 2G licences by former IT and communication minister Andimuthu Raja, who is now in jail.

Raja is accused of selling 2G spectrum lincences to private telecom companies at throwaway prices, causing presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the nation as calculated by the Comptroller and Auditor General.