Not many people have understood the 2G scam at all. The media and the opposition parties have of course sensationalized the matter by referring to an arbitrary number of Rs 1.76 lac crores. But lets find out the real truth about this number!
The point that has been made out is that the government (and hence the people) "lost" Rs 1.76 lac crores. Really? The immediate impression created is that politicians have pocketed this amount. The real truth is that telecom companies got this concession from the government. And they passed it on to average consumers in the form of ever-lower telecom pricing. All of us have enjoyed these low prices. These low prices have brought this powerful medium of communication to the poorest of the poor in the country. All of us have gloated with pride when our plumber, driver, maid and shoe-shine-boy have all started carrying mobile phones. This low pricing has made India the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Would all this have been possible if the pricing had been....say Rs 5 per minute?
Telcos have not profited from this. Need proof of this? Check out the profitability of telecom companies. The #1 company Airtel has a decent operating margin (OPM) of around 35%. The 2nd largest company Reliance has less than 10% OPM. Tata Tele and Idea have margins of 15%-20%. These are low margins. So if these companies had made the killing, why is it not showing up? The fact is that they have passed on the gains to the consumers.
This represents the most efficient distribution of public resources. Just imagine if the government had gone about distributing this money out itself? At least 30% would have been lost in corruption!
Yes.....there was corruption in the 2G spectrum allocation. Obviously, some of the shareholders of the new companies made a killing by selling their stakes. Most likely some politicians had benami stakes in these companies. But the scale of the corruption is much much lower. People must understand this. What is made out to be a Rs 1.76 lac crore scam may be no more than a few hundred crores or maybe a thousand crore scam......now that's not very sensational is it???!
And that's the real truth behind the 2G scam!