Saturday, December 11, 2010

India - Regulator has called for the cancellation of 38 of the licences issued by now ex-minister Raja

[straits times] INDIA'S telecom watchdog has called for the licences of operators caught up in what could be the country's largest corruption scandal to be cancelled, a statement said on Saturday.

The proposal to cancel 38 permits came as the government reeled under fierce attacks from opposition parties for the way second-generation (2G) licences and radio bandwidth were awarded two years ago.

The firms affected by the recommendation include the Indian joint ventures of Norway's telecommunications giant Telenor and Emirates Telecommunications Corp, junior communications minister Sachin Pilot said in a statement.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or TRAI, has also recommended the cancellation of 31 more licences including a joint venture of Russia's Sistema investment holding company but only after a further legal examination.

The Congress-led government plans to 'take necessary action after verification of data and after taking legal notice', Mr Pilot said in the statement posted on a government web site.

The regulator's recommendations are not binding on India's telecommunications ministry, which holds the power to cancel the licences.

Watchdog urges scrapping of telecom licences

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