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PAC questions more people in 2G probe

New Delhi(IANS): Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Tuesday continued questioning people, including industrialists, in its probe into the allocation of scarce telecom spectrum by former communications minister A. Raja.

Etisalat DB Telecom chief executive Atul Jhamb and Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani appeared before the committee Tuesday afternoon, a day after the empowered panel quizzed Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

S-Tel chief executive Shamik Das and Unitech Wireless managing director Sigve Brekke were also to be questioned later Tuesday. The panel has earlier queried Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar, his predecessors D.S. Mathur and Siddhartha Behura, former member-finance in Telecom Commission Manju Madhavan and former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Pradip Baijal.

It also interacted with Reserve Bank Governor D. Subbarao, who was finance secretary when the scarce spectrum for second generation (2G) telecom services was allotted to service providers.

The PAC took over the probe into the scandal allegedly perpetrated by Raja in 2008 by selling spectrum below market prices, causing huge losses to the government. The loss were first pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

Raja was forced to step down as communications minister last November and was later arrested. The alleged scam is being probed by multiple agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a joint parliamentary committee (JPC).

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