Ratan Tata's Letter to Rajeev Chandrashekhar
- On the issue of various allegations you have made on the so called benefits gained by TTSL, so called out-of-turn allotment that you claim have been given by DoT, you have chosen to misrepresent the facts as they suit you to justify the claims you have made. The true position is that TTSL has not I repeat not been advantaged in any way by Mr. Raja or any earlier Minister. The company has strictly followed the applicable policy and has been severely disadvantaged, as you are well aware, by certain powerful politically connected operators who have willfully subverted policy under various telecom ministers which has subsequently been regularized to their advantage. The same operators continue to subvert policy: have even paid fees for spectrum, even before the announcement of a policy, and have “de-facto ownership” in several new telecom enterprises. Licenses were granted to several ineligible applicants. Several licensees have spectrum in excess of their entitlement as per license conditions and not on the self-styled capacity spectrum efficiency that you have chosen to mention. This is the smoke screen that I am referring to as these subverters of government policy continue to do so to their advantage and their acts are being ignored or condoned. TTSL, on the other hand, as an existing licensee, applied for spectrum under the dual technology policy after the policy was announced on October 19"“, 2007 and is still awaiting allotment of spectrum in Delhi and 39 key districts for about three years whereas operators who applied - and paid the fee even before the policy announcement were not only considered ahead in line but were allotted spectrum with amazing alacrity in January 2008 itself. I am surprised that you have chosen to sidestep this very important aspect.
- The investment by NTT DoCoMo in TTSL was not based on a zero base valuation, like others, but was based on the performance of the company with 38 million subscribers, pan-India presence of network, offices, channel, turnover of Rs.6,000 crores, 60,000 km. of fiber: - and the potential growth of the company. The valuations are on the basis of a due diligence and service evaluation of the company’s service quality by DoCoMo.
- On the question of hoarding of spectrum to which I have referred, you will no doubt remember that in 2005 i made an issue of the fact that spectrum was a scarce resource and needed to be paid for rather than given free as was being proposed. The government policy entitled operators to no more than 6.2 MHz on the basis of their license conditions. All additional spectrum should have been returned or paid for. Even TRAI has recommended this in July 2010. l believe that TTSL was the only operator that returned spectrum when demanded by DoT. The CAG report clearly indicates which of the powerful GSM operators are holding spectrum beyond their entitlement free of cost and to the detriment of the other operators
- You parked yourself at the Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi, for several months since 2002 which was the centre of operations for you to prevent entry of VVLL Limited Mobility and CDMA as well as to interact with the polity and bureaucracy and with other operators to forge telecom policy of your choice. You did this in your own capacity as also as President of COAI.
- You also constantly solicited support of CII.
Ratan N. Tata
Member of Parliament
Rajya Sabha 211 North Avenue
New Delhi 110 001