(Rajeev Chandrasekhar , MP, writes an Open Letter to Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata )

Courtesy : The Times of India (Dec 7, 2010)

Rajeev Chandrasekhar , former telecom entreprenuer and MP, has written an open letter to Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, pointing out that Tata Group’s telecom companies themselves have taken advantage of the three key policy deviations listed by Tata in interviews following the exposure of the Niira Radia tapes.

The deviations that have been listed by Tata are: Out-ofturn allocation of spectrum; hoarding of spectrum by incumbent operators; and, the telecom ministry’s “flip-flop policy” . Tata had added that these deviations should be thoroughly probed instead of being side-tracked by the leak of private conversations of Radia. Chandrasekhar has drawn Tata’s attention in his letter to the CAG report, which shows that by virtue of dual technology the Tata companies have caused a loss of roughly Rs 19,074.8 crore to the public exchequer. He also claimed that the Tata companies have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of out-of-turn spectrum allocation.

The letter adds: ” If by hoarding , you mean having more spectrum than number of subscribers that can be serviced then please note that Tata holds spectrum both for GSM and CDMA. Based on the spectrum that Tata has, its average efficiency is perhaps the lowest amongst the large operators.” Chandrasekhar goes on to write, “Moreover, Tata has received CDMA and GSM spectrum at 2001 rates. So even if the hoarding charge was to apply, it would also apply to the Tatas for having maximum cumulative efficiency (CDMA and GSM) to serve the least number of subscribers amongst the incumbents.”

He has further drawn attention to the Tatas being the beneficiary of policy flip-flops and says they kept quiet in the past on the ” WLL scam” which eventually led to the government converting limited mobility to full mobility for Reliance and Tatas. He says, ” Your company was the beneficiary of this policy flip-flop and you chose to accept the benefits of this flip-flop at that time ^ despite this blatant violation and distortion. I am personally aware because I led the fight against it and remember being immensely disappointed at the Tata Group’s remarkably self-serving position. Further, in one of the most mysterious and indefensible acts, Tata Group took on board as a consultant, the very individual, who as the Chairman of Trai was the architect of this UASL and other shames.”

In the letter, Chandrsekhar calls himself as one of the admirers of the Tata Group for its ethical standards. He urges Ratan Tata to make the group ” live up to its image of ethical conduct .” And he gives Tata the benefit of the doubt for being possibly unaware of his telecom companies’ misconduct, “ given your senior position in your organisation .”


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