Thursday, November 18, 2010

India's 2008 2G Spectrum Auctions Cited for Fraud

India's auction of 2G spectrum, which were conducted two years ago, is the subject of a fraud investigation implicating former Telecom Minister, Mr. Andimuthu Raja, and other government. In what is being described as one of the nation's biggest political corruption scandals, investigators allege that the low-prices for the 2G licenses could have cost India's treasury billions -- perhaps as much as US$40 billion. Proposals have now been floated to cancel up to 62 of the 2G licenses held be five leading mobile operators.

  • In May 2010, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications were major winners in the 3G spectrum auction that was just concluded by India's Ministry of Communications & Information Technology. After 183 rounds of bidding in 4 days, the auction raised approximately Rs 67,719 crore (US$15 billion) in commitments from the carriers. Pundits had predicted between Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore in auction proceeds for the spectrum, indicating fierce bidding as the number of mobile users across the country continues to soar.

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