Do politicians think that we are all fools? I think so.

Yesterday, I read in the papers that all the M’s, That is, the PM, FM and TM put their minds together to resolve the loss of Rs. 40-50,000 crores loss to the exchequer and came up with another idea to hoodwink the public. They are proposing to have a 3 year lock-in period for the sale of a promoter’s stake. Will this help or resolve any problem. The answer is NO. The reason is simple. The value of Unitech will remain whatever it is whether the funds are brought in as equity or as stake sale. The fact remains that Unitech with an investment of Rs. 1632 crores will become owner of company worth Rs. 11,000 crores in 10 months for the spectrum it holds which was sold to it by the government for peanuts. Some may argue that at least the promoters so not make any immediate cash gain. This is not true. Promoters can always raise the money against their stake in the company to use in the telecom venture or any other venture.

I feel that the government takes the following steps:

(a) Disallow sale of Unitech on security ground which I think is real.
(b) Ask all the license holders that they need to develop the telecom business on their own strength. They must have shown in their application that they have the resources to do the business. They should be allowed to sell their stake or stake in the company after they have made all the circles for which they have obtained the license operational and not before. They need to work and take some risk before they are allowed to benefit from low price spectrum sale.
(c) Promoters can raise money to develop the telecom business in the form of debt based on the assets of the company or their stake in it.

Now I would like to clarify that I am against government interference in business but when there is no transparency and the public is taken for a ride, then government interference is a must. We cannot allow Unitech to make so much money at the expense of the public and because of stupid mistakes or intentional stupidity of the politicians.

Telecom Minister Raja says that this is a controversy raised by the telecom cartel. First, I do believe there is a cartel because TRAI of the government does not take any action against the interest of the existing players. For instance, what about the numbers mobility issue which has been hanging fire for so long. Second it is not a controversy. It is a SCAM. Third, the issue has not only been raised by the telecom cartel but by ordinary citizens like me. I have no connection with the telecom cartel. In fact, if you make me the telecom minister, I will make sure that not only the government benefits but also consumers who are being taken for a ride by telecom companies also benefit.

Raja has argued that the government will get Rs. 5000 p.a from royalties and that is why the spectrum was not auctioned. Raja should know that the amount of money the government will get still remains the same after UNItech’s stake sale. The two have no connection with each other.

Raja has also blamed TRAI for recommending sale rather than auction. Even if this is true, what role did he play in fighting the recommendation as a representative of the people and as an minister. Raja wants proof of wrongdoing and states that he will resign. Isn’t it proof enough that he sold something worth Rs. 11,000 crores for just Rs. 1632 crores. What kind of proof is he wanting us to present to him? Does want a letter written by him or a document signed by him stating that he or his government did this for their own benefit. Come on Rajaji, you have to be a little more reasonable.

I want to make an appeal to all the newspaper owners, editors, journalists, political parties and NGOs that let us not let politicians make a fool of us again and let the perpetrators of the Unitech SCAM go scot free. At the minimum, we need to ensure that the sale is disallowed or that rules are made so that others who have bought the spectrum do not hit the jackpot.

Lets call a SCAM a SCAM. no matter what Raja says.

avinash narula

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Comments

Yesterday, I read in the papers that all the M’s, That is, the PM, FM and TM put their minds together to resolve the loss of Rs. Original post

I’ll not speak about your competence, the article merely disgusting

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Lately, I didn’t give lots of consideration to leaving comments on weblog page posts and also have placed comments even much less.

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