Supreme Court ensured telecom will not lay ‘golden eggs’ for a while: Kapil Sibal

Supreme Court, on February 2012, had cancelled 122 2G telecom licences awarded in 2008.

Telecom minister Kapil Sibal has blamed the Supreme Court, which had last year quashed 122 licences awarded in 2008, for the troubles of the telecom sector.

?Till sometime back, telecom was the golden goose which lay golden eggs. The Supreme Court ensured that the golden goose will never lay a golden egg again at least for a little while,? Sibal said at the annual general meeting of industry chamber CII.

The Supreme Court, on February 2012, had cancelled 122 2G telecom licences awarded in 2008 by then telecom minister A Raja, who is out on bail.

In a reference to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for its Rs 1,76,000 crore loss figures, Sibal also said that no one has benefited by the activism of the government auditor and the media.

?The consumers? tariffs have gone up. So, the consumer has not benefited. The sector is under a debt of Rs 2,50,000 crore. So the sector has not benefited. The government has got Rs 1,000 crore (through 2G auctions). So the government has not benefited. I would like to know who has benefited from this?? he said.

Replying to a question, Sibal said that decision making has slowed down due to fear of courts and a senior Cabinet minister like him fears signing papers.

?I personally, sitting on that chair, fear signing something because I do not know what is going to happen in courts 5 years from now. This (fear in decision making) has happened since 2010 and CAG and the most independent media in the world has led to all this,? Sibal said.

Sibal also blamed the courts for making it difficult for systems in the country to function in the matter of economic policy making.

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First published on: 04-04-2013 at 08:41 IST