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CAG seeks details of spectrum usage

New Delhi, India: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in India reportedly has sent reminder notices to several agencies like space organisations, including National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), besides Home Ministry to provide details about the spectrum used by them.

The exercise by CAG assumes significance in the wake of recent controversy over distribution of spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices, causing huge losses to the exchequer.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is the custodian of spectrum in the country. In March, the CAG had sought details from the Telecom Ministry about the availability of spectrum and its allocation to different agencies and private users like mobile operators. The CAG has also sought information about price at which the spectrum was allocated to all agencies.

While defence ministry has replied that they have not sublet its spectrum to any other agencies, the CAG is in the process of sending them further queries on total quantum of spectrum held by them. Besides, the DoT has said that it is awaiting the report on allocation of natural resources by the Ashok Chawla Committee to which it is also providing its inputs.

The CAG would look into the fees paid by the agencies, departments and companies who bought spectrum and also if they are using the allotted frequencies in its true capacity. All this information would help the CAG in assessing how efficiently the spectrum is being utilised.

The CAG had quantified a presumptive loss of over INR 1.76 lakh crore due to sale of 2G spectrum in 2008 by former Telecom Minister A Raja and the matter is being investigated by various agencies.

Source: Economic Times