New Delhi: The Union government is expected to pull the curtains down on the policy of ‘first come first serve’ for the allotment of 2G spectrum after the Supreme Court verdict in the multi-crore 2G corruption case.  If there is no official striking down of the policy, its implementation might be a tough task for any government.

According to the sources, a Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has been constituted for the allocation of 2G spectrum. The GoM would be required to take into consideration the verdict of the Apex Court before it arrives on a final decision on the issue.

For the record, the Ashok Chawla committee has already given a red signal for the policy. Also, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said, “There may be need to revisit the first come, first serve policy in other sectors too.”

The committee has clearly stated, “The allocation of the 2G spectrum must only be through open auction system.” The GoM is currently looking into the report of the Chawla committee.

According to the experts, the once bitten, twice shy government may not be eager to implement the said policy. Also, considering the basic principles as faulty, the court has questioned the legitimacy of the policy.  The court has said, “Those at proximity with the corridors of power may be aware about the auction process beforehand and might benefit under the first come, first serve policy.”

The proposed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 has not fully ruled out the first come, first serve policy. It says, one must adhere to the said policy in effect with certain exceptions. The policy is implemented by the state governments as well as in case of allotment of major natural resources except oil and gas.

It is to be noted, the NDA government in 2003 had introduced the policy in the telecom sector to facilitate faster decisions and prevent any cartelization by the companies.


(JPN/Bureau)