As expected telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Friday blamed sensationalism for tepid response in 2G spectrum auction that lasted only two days fetching the government only 9,407.64 crore.
Last year CAG put the loss at Rs. 1.76 lakh crore for not auctioning the 2G spectrum which created political upheaval in the country with opposition led by BJP targeting the UPA government on the issue.
Maintaining that the policy must be the prerogative of the government, Sibal said that the telecom story is no longer a story we can share with the world. He said that it was a case of sensationalizing figures and killing the golden hen.
The castigation of allocation of spectrum process by CAG resulted in the Supreme Court canceling all the 112 spectrum licences allotted during the tenure of the former telecom minister A Raja.
Taking a dig at CAG’s presumed loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore Sibbal wondered as to where that figure was.
“This is a lesson that all of us must learn: allow institutions charged with certain responsibilities to do those”, he said.
Soon after the 2G auction ended Sibal had said that the nature of the market in 2008, 2010 and 2012 are very different. It is very dangerous to extrapolate and take the situation in 2010 and apply in 2008 and similarly apply 2012 to 2008.
He said that the government would try to sell the spectrum that could not find takers in this auction. “We will try to do before the start of the next financial year. We can only auction the spectrum that is left after this auction,” said Sibal.