28 October, 2020

Going Around In Circles

The big issues in the scam are being buried in the maze of documents under investigation

Going Around In Circles

HOW long will the CBI take to unravel the dimensions of the gigantic telecom scam? Never known for its speed in investigations, the agency may take several years before it completes the probe or pins down the main players in the various shady telecom deals. And going by its past record, the course of investigations could depend on the will of the political establishment.

The value of licences for 10 basic circles in which letters of intent, draft interconnect and licence agreements have been issued is around Rs 1,880.38 crore in the first year of operations and Rs 65,775.3 crore for the 15-year licence period. But whether the tele-com firms (who may have already been forced to pay huge kickbacks) will sign the licence agreement by the September 12 deadline set by the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is the big question.

The cumulative value of contracts and licences awarded during Sukh Ram's tenure as communications minister may easily exceed an estimated Rs 30,000 crore. Licences have already been awarded to private operators for cellular, paging,...



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