Reality Check India

Spectrum scam – Yechury’s letter to PM

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 16, 2008

Yesterday, the media ran non stop headlines on the cash-for-votes scam.  Some bloggers including Offstumped covered it too. The only interesting thing about this toothpick of a scam is how the BJP hobnobbed with the CNN-IBN, literally begging them to do a sting.

The three stunning characteristics of the spectrum scam are :

1. Simplicity  – underprice a government asset and sell to private profiteers, who will then resell for the actual price. If Indian ‘middle class‘ cannot understand this, then they surely cant understand scams involving complex financial instruments.

2. Cash – other scams are hard to size because they might involve financial instruments. In this one, it is crystal clear what the market price of the national resource was ( Rs 65k Cr) and what was sold to private players like Swan, Unitech ( Rs 9k Cr). The entire loss is plain cash.

3. Size – this scam is so big that it can pay the entire amount involved in the alleged Bofors scam as interest every week.  That the BJP can keep mum on this while blaring away at Bofors is unbelievable.


The medias next assignment is this : Somehow run stories to divert attention from this scam. The minister A. Raja has clearly mentioned that he has full backing of the PM and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

The CPM is the only party making a noise about this.  For that Kudos !

From the CPI-M website.

In a letter to the prime minister on November 18, 2008, Yechury called for a probe by an appropriate independent agency to fix responsibility for “one of the biggest financial scams of all times in the country” — the total loss to the exchequer of giving away 2G spectrum in this way is over Rs 60,000 crore 

Source : CPI-M (emphasis mine and I agree)

Some excerpts from his letter

There are also reports in the press of Turkcell, a leading Turkish telecom company and Europe’s third largest operator being in talks to buy 51 per cent stake in Datacom solutions.

For a number of these corporations, who were awarded the so-called ‘first come first served’ licenses, the promoters are either unknown or shadow companies. This further reinforces the doubts regarding the bona fides of these companies as also the intent of the policy.

Source : CPI-M

Great, now we have Turkcell > Datacom, Telenor > Unitech,  Etisalat > Swan.


No issue is big enough to shake the Indian voter any more.


5 Responses

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  1. Barbarindian said, on December 16, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Perhaps if we make a comparison bar chart the middle class can be goaded into some thinking if not action.

    For instance:

    Spectrum Scam===========================
    Farmer Loan Waiver ======================
    SPG/NSG for VIP (not to scale)
    Individual I/T=====


  2. rc said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:14 am

    >> SPG/NSG for VIP (not to scale)

    Now thats funny !!

  3. AG said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:48 am

    Want to know of another scam?

    How about the Teesta scam of misleading the SC and committing perjury.
    I did’nt see this in ANY of the other newspapers.
    It is likely to get buried…

    Malek said the affidavit was “fabricated” and had “incorrect” information. He alleged it was drafted in English without his knowledge by Rais Khan, coordinator of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), who made him sign on the affidavit. “I had mentioned this in my statement to the SIT too,” he said.

    But Rais Khan claims it was CJP secretary Teesta Setalvad who sent him affidavits for signatures. “Teesta Setalvad used to send me these affidavits through e-mail. I used to take printouts and get them signed after calling the persons concerned to Shahpur. All these affidavits were drafted by Setalvad along with some legal experts,” Khan said. When contacted, Setalvad declined comment.

  4. rc said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:58 am

    I believe the UPA government led by the Congress Party is claiming that nowhere in the world is 2G spectrum auctioned.


    Auction is the most common mechanism to distribute spectrum. For example, the FCC has been auctioning for 15 years in the United States. If you are interested see a list of upcoming auctions here

  5. […] 16 2008 : About Yechury’s letter to PM on 2G scam Yesterday, the media ran non stop headlines on the cash-for-votes scam.  Some bloggers including […]

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