In recent years, the telecommunication industry has witnessed all new changes, with 4G technology carving the way for faster speed of internet and connectivity. However, amidst the progress, there was a massive allegation of scam involving Reliance and a staggering RS. 23,000 crores raising hot debates among everyone.
This is the second scam next to the 2G spectrum allocation scam invented by the UPA government. The CAG report exposing the BWA failure was investigated thoroughly for the exchequer struck down.
In 2014, after the advent of the Jio 4G spectrum, allegations were made about the unfair advantage of its security license and spectrum, amidst other irregularities. It spurred the market allowing it to dominate the 4G spectrum unfairly. Accusations of crony capitalism and improper political influence in the allocation process have further fueled the controversy.
The scandal traces back to the UPA government’s move in March 2013 allowing Jio Infocomm entry into voice telephony. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court due to significant loss in the public exchequer employed the 2001 price of Rs. 1,658 crore for pan India license despite its prior rejection.
The 4G and 3G auctions in May-June, 2010 revealed the intriguing differences. While the 3G auction fetched Rs. 16,750.58 crore for 5 + 5 MHz spectrum, the 4G auction garnered Rs. 12,847.77 crore for 20 MHz pan India license. This stark contrast is attributed to the designation of 4G spectrum for data services only and 3G spectrum supports both data and voice telephony.
The CAG found that the government failed to safeguard its interests during the 4G auction’s eligibility criteria. Internet licensees were permitted to participate without net-worth safeguards, creating an unequal playing field. As investigation unfolds, the true extent of the scandal’s impact on the telecom sector and exchequer remains to be more clear.
The 2015’s 4G scam of Rs. 23,000 crore will be seen as a new chapter in the Indian telecom controversies. Allegations of improper spectrum allocation, favoritism, and disregard for financial safeguards continue to raise questions about fairness and accountability. Overall, the potential allocation of spectrum and auction should be regulated in a more appropriate way to let this stakeholders not escape the consequences of such malign.