CAG finds shortcomings in spectrum allocations in 2015 on first-cum-first-service foundation, losses to exchequer

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New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor Common (CAG) has discovered varied shortcomings in spectrum administration by the telecom ministry which have led to losses to the federal government exchequer.

The auditor discovered {that a} set of the spectrum was allotted to a telecom operator in 2015 on the first-cum-first-service (FCFS) foundation in contravention to the suggestions of a committee, whereas 101 purposes for microwave (MW) spectrum have been pending with the federal government.

The CAG in its report stated the Division of Telecommunications (DoT) constituted a committee in December 2012 to look into the allotment of spectrum in varied classes of spectrum customers and proposed that the spectrum allotment in microwave band to all of the operators must be executed via the market-related course of — public sale.

“Nonetheless, in contravention of the committee’s suggestions, allocation of MW entry spectrum has been executed on FCFS foundation until date as was being executed for 2G licence and entry spectrum until 2009,” the report stated.

Representational picture. ThinkStock.

The Supreme Courtroom in 2012 had struck down FCFS coverage in 2G spectrum allocation case of 2008-09 whereas cancelling 122 telecom permits that have been granted spectrum via the method.

Microwave entry (MWA) spectrum is allotted to telecom operators for brief distances to supply cell companies.

“It was additionally discovered that allotment of MWA to entry service suppliers was withheld by DoT since June 2010 and allotment towards just one applicant was made in December 2015. There have been 101 purposes pending until November 2016 for allotment of MWA,” CAG stated with out disclosing the title of the corporate to which the allocation was made.

In accordance with the CAG’s report, the federal government had an antagonistic monetary impression of round Rs 560 crore on account of varied cases of spectrum mismanagement by DoT.

Within the whole loss, the auditor noticed the utmost excessive monetary impression of Rs 520.79 crore on the federal government exchequer on account of non-withdrawal of the spectrum from BSNL which the state-run agency had provided to give up to keep away from one-time spectrum cost.

The auditor calculated an annual lack of Rs 30.92 crore from making provision of guard band in 1800 Mhz band (earlier often known as 2G spectrum) that resulted in non-utilisation of 4.Four Mhz within the band.

CAG discovered that DoT utilized previous method acquire spectrum prices from microwave entry and microwave backhaul spectrums and satellite tv for pc spectrum allotted for nationwide lengthy distance and worldwide lengthy distance networks as a substitute of income share foundation which turned a rule after the New Telecom Coverage 1999 was put in place.

CAG additionally discovered that ‘Notification of Defence Band and Defence Curiosity Zone’ was authorised by the Cupboard on January 21, 2015, and a separate proposal for waiver of spectrum prices payable by the defence division was to be submitted for the approval of the Cupboard.

“Nonetheless, no such proposal for waiver of Spectrum Prices for Defence Forces has been bought authorised from the Cupboard until date,” the report stated.

The auditor stated that Wi-fi Planning and Coordination Wing below DoT needed to conduct re-farming of a set of spectrum in 900 Mhz band which is being utilized by the defence division.

“The persevering with use of spectrum in these bands by Defence ends in lack of alternative price for the nation as an entire,” CAG stated.

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