Lately, there is ‘very’ active Press bureau and responsible, pro-active media coverage in India!
2 G Spectrum scam mainly deals with allegations of misappropriation during the bidding for allocation of 2G spectrum.
What is 2 G Spectrum?
2G (or 2-G) is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology.Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors are : phone conversations are digitally encrypted; 2G systems are significantly more efficient on the spectrum allowing for far greater mobile phone penetration levels; and 2G introduces data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages.(Wikipedia)
Note: 2G has been superseded by newer technologies such as 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G, and 4G; however, 2G networks are still used in many parts of the world. (so, we are still trailing!!)
The issue is basically violation of set norms by the ousted Telecom Minister A Raja, supported well by DMK till his ouster – So, all the more politicisation of the verdict! A Raja stepped down (resigned) after J Jayalalitha openly criticised DMK and offered ‘vote’ support to the coalition leader Congress on the floor of Lok Sabha. But, misappropriation and violations have been going on for a long time. This happens everywhere: corporate lobbyists are there in every country to take undue advantage and opportunistic politicians make hay while the sun shines! Only difference – the Indian Press is more active NOW and does not want to take things lying down any more!
Look at the basic facts of the 2 G spectrum scam:
– 2G licenses issued to private telecom players at throwaway prices in 2008. Allocations were pegged at prices prevailing during 2001. The only difference – subscriber base has jumped near to 100 times more since then. So, Why was this ‘pricing’ done?
– CAG Report has confirmed: Spectrum scam has cost the government Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. Rules and procedures flouted while issuing licenses
Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) has slammed A Raja on his flouting the rules, but did not take it further to its logical conclusion, till the Press fuelled the matter and generated public interest at large. Such ‘governmental’ flaws costs the nation (read ‘tax-payer’) a lot!
In addition, there has been much more loss by not conducting business in the parliament for the past 2 weeks due to this issue. There is a debate/ disagreement between the Congress led coalition and the Opposition party alliance (NDA) on whether to conduct JPC (Joint Parliamentary Probe) or a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) perusal!! Every hour in the Parliament costs money – there are many bills to be signed and passed. Delays cause cost over-runs in the projects awaiting parliamentary approval, leading to drop-outs!! Why is the delay in investigation? Whom is the government trying to save?
If the country can function without parliamentary proceedings for the last 2 weeks, then it is clear we can do without them! What say?