news Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 05:30
  Possibly adding more credibility to allegations made by former TRAI chairman Pradeep Baijal about warnings issued by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran to him seeking cooperation on 2G telecom issue, a new letter written by Dayanidhi Maran dating back to 2005 has emerged.  In a letter dated 10th February, 2005 Dayanidhi Maran writes to PM Singh complaining about the TRAI chairman. The letter first aired by NewsX comes days after Baijal released a tell-all book, “The Complete Story of Indian Reforms: 2G, Power and Private Enterprise - A Practitioner’s Diary” in which he alleges that Manmohan Singh told him to cooperate with Maran as any non-cooperation could affect his government. Baijal had even alleged that Maran had warned him of “serious consequences” if he ended up giving the unified licensing recommendations despite warnings that he would come to severe harm if he did not comply with Maran’s decisions.  Here’s the gist of the letter Maran wrote to Manmohan Singh on the working of TRAI and its Chairman, Pradeep Baijal  1. Maran writes that “..the Chairman’s penchant of constantly voicing his opinion to the Press and Media has been a source of constant embarrassment to the Department . Person holding such a high office as that of Chairman TRAI should exercise restraint of high office and not give press interviews on matters of policy, which are completely within the domain  of the Government". 2. Maran also states that Baijal had an ulterior motive in issues where TRAI did not agree with the Telecom Ministry.  He writes “On many occasions his remarks are at variance with the adopted Government Policy. I strongly suspect that in matters where his recommendations were not accepted by my Ministry , instead of accepting the position, he has been giving unwarranted inputs to interested parties perhaps with the ulterior agenda of having his recommendations find acceptance in Government by putting undue pressure on the Department.” 3. Maran says that Baijal was intruding in issues beyond his control and had no reason to air his views to the press. “I would imagine that once TRAI has given its recommendation, the Chairman has no business to air his views in the Press and Media defending his recommendations as their acceptance…” 4. He also writes on the 3G spectrum and about TRAI’s recommendations on spectrum pricing and more importantly discusses the 3G spectrum and its pricing. "TRAI inordinately delayed giving their recommendations on the specific issues. It finally gave its recommendation only in May, 2005, after a period of 18 months. Also, TRAI has included their views on some other issues, most notably that of 3G Spectrum and its pricing. The Government had not asked for recommendations on 3G at all" 5. He alleges that the TRAI had unnecessarily delayed providing its recommendations on the three issues on Unified Licensing Regime that the Ministry had sought. “This is a sensitive issue having external policy ramifications. TRAI should have quickly given its recommendations on the specific issues raised by us. It unnecessary delayed its recommendations. “ 6. He also finds fault with the TRAI chairman over suggestions made by them on the “pricing issue”. “On the pricing issue, it is our considered view that it is the prerogative of the Ministry to decide in the matter after considering various aspects connected thereto in consultation with other major stakeholders." Referring to the Chairman’s behaviour, he writes “his conduct and irrepressible desire to go before the media have been a constant sources of embarrassment to the Government”. Read the full letter below.   Also read, Times Now 'opts out' of Presidential visit to Sweden?