NEW DELHI: Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said that the telecom companies do not have the capacity to participate in spectrum auctions especially after the Covid-19 outbreak and auction will not help the Central government to raise funds.
Sibal told ANI, "As far as the auctions are concerned, which telecom company has the capacity to participate in any auction? I mean they are in such deep trouble and such deep debt, they have not been able to discharge the liabilities that have been foisted on them pursuant to a judgment of the court and they are committed to doing that to the extent they can. In this situation, with the Covid-19, who has the money?"
"I think Vodafone has lost at more than 30 billion dollars already and Idea and Airtel don't have the capacity either because they have to discharge their liabilities, so who can participate in the auction?" he said while discussing on how the government can raise funds to deal with COVID-19 situation.
"Remember, at that time (during UPA regime), we had 10-12 players, we have reduced it to only three and one of them I don't think will be able to survive much longer. So what we do and this is only because of the great theory of the great CAG, the great Mr Vinod Rai, who talked about 1 lakh 76 thousand crore. This is the result of 1 lakh 76 thousand crore," Sibal said referring to the CAG Vinod Rai estimation of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss to the national exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences to private players during UPA regime.
Recently, opposition came down heavily on the Central government for its decision to freeze the hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) for government employees and pensioners and asked it to look for other ways to reduce the expenses and raise funds.
Former PM Manmohan Singh had also said that it is not necessary to impose hardships on government servants.
Rahul Gandhi too had hit out at the government for the move and had called it an 'inhumane and insensitive' move.