Finance ministry officials brief JPC on 2G scam

The JPC, examining India's telecom licence pricing policy from 1998 to 2008, was briefed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Arun Mathur and other officials of the finance ministry on their probe and findings into the what is being billed as one of the largest scams in India.

The ED, which enforces foreign exchange regulations and prevents money laundering, estimates violations to the tune of over Rs.4,300 crore by telecom firms that got second generation telecom licences allegedly at throwaway prices in 2008. The directorate is probing the alleged scam under the provisions of the foreign exchange and money laundering laws and has already put beneficiaries of the 2G scam in the dock.

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of the finance ministry also briefed the JPC separately about their probe into the scam. The DRI is examining the share holding patterns of telecom firms.  The Wednesday's meeting of the JPC come a day after the parliamentary panel, headed by Congress' P.C. Chacko, met Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief A.P. Singh.

The CBI briefed the JPC on its findings into the 2G scam. The CBI has arrested former IT and communication minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, the daughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi, for their alleged involvement in the scandal. Earlier on Wednesday, Telecom Regulatory Authority chairman J.S. Sarma made a presentation before JPC members on the telecom policies of India.

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