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2G: Enhancing FDI limit was to encourage foreign investment

Delhi,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Thu, 12 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Former telecom secretary D.S. Mathur Thursday told a CBI special court that the object of enhancing Foreign Direct Investment limit was to encourage foreign investments with a view to bring expertise and better technology in the field.


"It is correct that the object of enhancing FDI limit is to encourage foreign investments with a view to bring expertise and better technology in the field," said Mathur. Testifying as a CBI witness, Mathur told Special Judge O.P. Saini that every operator had a component of FDI.


"I cannot say if some of the operators opted for issuance of additional equity and in some cases some promoters sold their shares to the foreign companies," replied Mathur while being cross-examined by former telecom minister A. Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar.


He added that TRAI has recommended auction of all spectrum, excluding few bands (800, 900 and 1,800 MHz bands) in future to ensure efficient utilisation of this scarce resources.


Mathur deposed that he had told D. Subbarao the then finance secretary that spectrum pricing is the continuing responsibility of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and it is neither necessary nor feasible to include that in terms of reference.


According to the government auditor, the 2G spectrum allocation case pertained to biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licences, in lieu of kickbacks to telecom firms that could have cost the treasury up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue.


Nineteen individuals and six companies are accused in the case. Except for Raja and another accused, all other arrested accused have been released on bail.


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