New Delhi, July 6 (IBNS): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to head the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom spectrum allocation, media reports said on Friday.
The EGoM was reconstituted on Friday after Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar stepped down as the head of EGoM on Telecom earlier this week.
Pawar reportedly does not feature in the reconstituted panel.
According to reports, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Defence Minister A K Antony, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will continue to be members of the EGoM.
Pawar stepped down as the head of EGoM on Telecom after writing a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to relieve him for the responsibility in view of attempts to slander him in the 2G scam issue.
In a letter to the Prime Minister made available to media on July 2, Pawar said there were attempts in the past to unnecessary drag his name in the controversy surrounding the allocation of 2G spectrum.
"These allegations were false and ill-motivated, which I strongly refuted. Neither in the personal capacity nor in the official, I was connected with any of the decision making process in this sector," he wrote.
"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. As such, I thought it will be appropriate for me to recuse myself from the position of the Chairman of the EGOM on this subject," he said.
"I had communicated the same to the Prime Minister who in turn has agreed to relieve me from the responsibility of the Chairman of EGOM on vacation of spectrum and Auction of 3G Spectrum, and to look into the grant of licence and allocation of spectrum in 2G band in 22 Service areas," he said.
The Supreme Court in a landmark verdict on February 2 had ordered all 122 telecoms licences issued under a 2008 sale be revoked and ruled that natural resources like mobile spectrum be auctioned, terming the government’s first-come-first-served allocation “unconstitutional”.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to complete the fresh auctioning of the 2G spectrum licences by August 31.