However, not wanting to repeat its past mistake, the DoT wants to have all corners covered before the auditor gets into action. Claiming that spectrum audit is a highly technical matter, the DoT has convinced the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to form a joint working group which will identify the terms of reference for the audit.
The joint DoT-CAG working group will also delineate areas to be covered by the audit.
In a communication to the Secretary Economic Affairs, Arvind Mayaram, DoT Secretary says, “On the proposed audit, it was decided that before conduct of performance audit of spectrum management in the country, it was necessary to identify clearly the scope of the proposed audit to avoid aspects that are largely and deeply technical in nature and carve out an appropriate coverage of issues which would lead to useful and meaningful outcomes from the audit.”
The audit is expected to cover areas of spectrum policy implementation, the economic efficiency and enforcement of the spectrum policy.
DoT, however, does not want a repeat of the last audit where the auditor had claimed that the exchequer had lost potential revenue worth over Rs 1.7 lakh crore, putting the government in a tight spot.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had later claimed that there was no loss to the exchequer. But the political damage was done and former Telecom Minister A Raja lost his job and is facing criminal charges.
The Supreme Court had earlier this year cancelled 122 telecom licences given in 2008 during Raja’s tenure.