Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS

RAJYASABHA

UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1444

TO BE ANSWERED ON 12TH AUGUST,2011

FINDINGS OF CAG REPORT

1444. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:

(a)    Whether CAG Report of 16 November 2010 has found 85 companies ineligible for grant of UAS licences for fraudulently accessing spectrum;

(b)   If so, the details, roles and functions of various Departments in DoT and other Ministries for approving such applications, along with approval criteria;

(c)    Whether DoT officials who cleared such applications continue to function in their current roles/responsibilities and whether they have any role in the process of issuing Show Cause

(d)   Notices (SCNs) for penalties or for termination of licences in the above cases or any other cases of licence violation; and

(e)   If so, the details thereof?

ANSWER

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

(SHRI MILIND DEORA)

(a) & (b) Unified Access Services (UAS) licences are granted in terms of the eligibility criteria prescribed  in the UAS guidelines dated 14.12.2005 and validated by the Information/ documents / certificates submitted by the applicant companies duly certified by their Company Secretary as mentioned in the Guidelines/ Application Form. Prescribed eligibility criteria include paid - up equity capital, net - worth, substantial equity, FDI etc. and applications are examined by different wings of DoT such as Licensing wing, Finance wing, Investment Promotion wing, Legal wing etc… As a matter of abundant precaution, Department of Telecom (DoT) also takes an undertaking from the applicant company that "if at any time, any averments made or information furnished f or obtaining the licence was found incorrect, then their application and the licence if granted thereto on the basis of such application shall be cancelled". If any misrepresentation of facts is brought to notice at a later date necessary action can be taken as per due procedure under the provisions of the VAS licence Guidelines/ agreement.

The Report of Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) on "Issue of Licences and allocation of 20 Spectrum by Department of Telecommunication.", which was laid in the Parliament on November 16, 2010, has inter-alia stated that “... as many as 85 Licenses out  of the 122 new lieces issued to 13  Companies in 2008 were granted to those companies which did not satisfy the eligibility conditions prescribed by the DoT. All 85 licenses were given to companies which did not have the stipulated paid up capital at the time of applications. Further,45 out of these 85 licenses were issued to companies who failed to satisfy conditions of main object clause in their Memorandum of Association”. The CAG report has inter-alia, concluded that. .. "85 licenses were issued to the companies which suppressed facts, disclosed incomplete information and submitted fictitious documents to the DoT and thus used fraudulent means for getting UAS licenses and thereby access to Spectrum".

(c) & (d) Transfers and postings are routine matters in the Government. Officials posted in particular Wing/ Division are supposed to do all kinds of work assigned to that particular Wing/ Division which may include grant of licence as well as termination of licence etc .

Roles and Responsibilities of the most of the officers of various wings of DoT as  mentioned above, who processed applications for grant of UAS· licenses during 2007-08, have since changed due to routine transfers/ postings/ superannuation. Few of the officers in different wings who processed the applications for grant of UAS license are continuing in their respective wings.

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