Defending Finance Minister P Chidambaram on his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, RBI governor D Subbarao told the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) that there was no actual monetary loss to the government.
Appearing before the JPC, Subbarao told the members there could be a loss to the exchequer because of the procedure followed by the government in the allocation of spectrum and the assumptions made.
This is not the first time Subbarao has defended Chidambaram. The former finance secretary had maintained his stand on the same issue before the Public Accounts Committee.
Subbarao also said he disagreed with the controversial note prepared by the finance ministry for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which said Chidambaram should have insisted on auctioning of 2G spectrum. The note was prepared on March 25, 2011, by the ministry.
The former finance secretary also said the finance ministry was not aware that 2G spectrum licences would be granted on January 10, 2008. Subbarao said the department of telecommunication had written a letter on November 29, 2007, stating that the entry fee was finalised on the basis of the Cabinet decision taken in 2003. Subbarao argued that he had informed the then finance minister, Chidambaram, about the letter on January 9, 2008, just a day before the licences were granted by the DoT.
Subbarao had written a letter on 22 November 2007 to ask the DoT why it was taking an entry fee of only Rs 1,650 crore - an amount fixed in 2001 - from operators.