Home minister is expected to succeed Sharad Pawar, who quit following charges of his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam
NEW DELHI, INDIA: With NCP chief Sharad Pawar stepping down as the head of the telecom panel, home minister P Chidambaram is likely to succeed him.
Last week, Pawar quit the panel, denying the allegations of his link with DB Group-promoted Swan Telecom, a beneficiary of 2G spectrum allocated by A Raja in 2008.
The other members of the newly reconstituted telecom EGoM include telecom minister Kapil Sibal, law minister Salman Khurshid, I&B minister Ambika Soni, minister of state in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy.
The role of the high-level telecom panel has become crucial in key decisions that include base price of 2G spectrum. EGoM would also deliberate on DoT proposals for levying one-time fee on all airwaves held by existing players, and charging a fee beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
In a letter to the PM, he said: "Attempts have been made in the past to unnecessarily drag me into the controversy surrounding the allocation of 2G spectrum. These allegations were false and ill-motivated, which I strongly refuted."
Pawar further wrote: "Neither in the personal capacity nor in the official, I was connected with any of the decision making process in this sector. At this juncture, I believe that my association in the decision making process as the Chairman of the EGoM, may further motivate the vested elements to try to drag me in the controversy."