No more jackpots for telecom players

A number of people including I were outraged when telecom players like Unitech were given spectrum for peanuts which they sold to make billions. All of us wanted that the profits made by Unitech belonged to us, the public and that the money should be returned to the government. The other demand we had that was that the telecom minister Mr. Raja should have resigned and that the matter should be investigated to find out how Mr. Raja ended up doing such a stupid thing.

Today, I am happy as well as unhappy. I am happy that finally TRAI has recommended a 3-year lock-in period for sale of first promoter(s) stake. I think what I have read suggests that the promoters cannot make money by selling their stake till they have completed their roll out obligations for three years. I am also happy to see that the promoter cannot pledge his shares with government’s permission.

I believe that Unitech and Swan’s sale should also come under purview of this law/provision. I don’t think Unitech should be allowed to get away with the lottery.

However, I still unhappy because this scam happened under the watch of telecom minister. Whatever I had read earlier was that Minister Mr. Raja did not pay heed to the recommendations of a number of government agencies to auction the spectrum. Now we, the public, do have the right to know what qualifications and reasons that Mr. Raja decided to ignore the suggestions of various government agencies.

avinash narula

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