Tata Real Estate chairman, MD questioned by CBI in connection with 2G scam

The two officials of Tata Realty & Infrastructure were questioned regarding alleged Rs1,600 crore loan extended to Unitech to procure 2G spectrum

New Delhi: Two top executives of the Tata group-chairman of the group's realty and infrastructure arm R Krishna Kumar and its managing director and chief executive officer Sanjay G Ubale-were on Thursday questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam.

The two officials of Tata Realty & Infrastructure reached the CBI headquarters early this morning and were questioned regarding alleged Rs1,600 crore loan extended to Unitech to procure 2G spectrum.

This is the second time that Mr Ubale has been quizzed by the CBI in connection with the firm's alleged linkages with Unitech, one of the two companies which have been mentioned in the FIR filed by the agency on 21 October 2009.

The CBI had earlier questioned Sanjay Chandra of Unitech on issues relating to offloading of majority stake to Norway-based Telenor after getting the 2G spectrum license.

The CBI is probing whether Tata Real Estate had paid Rs1,600 crore to Unitech for a land deal at a time when the real estate company was applying for 2G license in 2007.

During the questioning of the Unitech managing director he was asked to explain about offloading of shares, CBI sources said.

Unitech has claimed that it has been cooperating with all investigating agencies from the very beginning as it has nothing to hide.

"Our officers have provided all records for examination and clarified all issues raised by them from time to time.

Going forward, we will continue to assist in the same spirit," the company said in a recent statement.

The charges against Unitech, according to CBI's FIR, was that it offloaded over 60% of its stake to Telenor and earned a profit of 267% even before the service roll-out.

"Unitech was allotted UAS licences for 22 circles for Rs1,658 crore. It offloaded its 60% of shares in the licences to Telenor of Norway for Rs6,100 crore even before the roll-out," the FIR said.

According to the FIR, "The estimated loss to the government by grant of licences to these two companies (Swan and Unitech) alone comes to Rs7,105 crore. On a pro-rata basis, the estimated loss for all the 122 circles is more than Rs22,000 crore."


Beware of a fake high-yield guaranteed bonds offer

An email offering high-yield guaranteed bonds tries to lure investors with the promise of an unbelievable 14% return. It uses the Bajaj Allianz company name, but the company says it does not have any such product

On the face of it, it seems to be a super offer from a well-known name like Bajaj Allianz. But it is not. If you receive an email that is ostensibly from Bajaj Allianz, offering 14% per annum return on a bond, as well as a customer service number, please ignore it. Bajaj Allianz has said that it does not have any such product and it has cautioned investors to guard against subscribing to it.

The email we received purports that the last date of this Republic Day offer has been extended from 18th February to 26th February following the overwhelming response from investors. It explains that the high yield of 14% will be earned through arbitrage. It assures that the bonds are secured and the corpus is deposited into the contingent fund of the Bajaj group, to give an impression of genuineness. The email has a contact number (1800-233-2727) number that gets no response even though it says its a 24x7 helpline. It uses the logo of Bajaj Allianz with the words 'Dial befikar', a copy of the Bajaj Allianz slogan 'Jiyo befikar'.

Let's emphasise the red flags again. The email has a gmail address. There was no response when we dialled the mobile number that is given. The product detail specifies 14% ap and not 14% p.a. It also mentions an insurance cover and tax benefits available along with the plan, but does not give any details. But what have guaranteed bonds got to do with insurance cover? The email also uses several words like 'guaranteed bond', 'fixed deposit', 'guaranteed investment return plan', 'wealth ins' and so on, quite loosely.

It describes the investment details in the following way: "Deposits invested basically in resources, infrastructure, consumption and human capital sectors. These sectors have grown by 48% every year in last 10 years & have majorly contributed to India's economic development." No matter what the sector, no credible institution is offering such high returns.

When Moneylife contacted Bajaj Allianz about this email offer, Santosh Balan, head of corporate communications at Bajaj Allianz, said, "We have checked our records and would like to state that this communication is not from any of our authorised persons or distribution channels. There is no person by the name Abhijeet Shaheja in our system. It seems that the person on his own has gone ahead and sent this communication and used the brand name of some of our popular products like Shield Insurance, Max Advantage and Wealth Insurance to his or her advantage. From the mailers attached it seems that he is not selling any of our insurance plans per se other than comparing it with some of the popular products. The SMS and toll-free numbers do not belong to Bajaj Allianz."




6 years ago

In case we receive such mails or phone calls where should we complain

Implementation of telecom policy may be faulty: PM

Citing statistics of tele-density, which has gone up from 7% in March 2004 to 66% in December 2010, prime minister Manmohan Singh said the policy has paid "rich dividends"

New Delhi: Notwithstanding with controversies surrounding the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation, prime minister Manmohan Singh today defended the telecom policy in place but admitted that implementation may be faulty, reports PTI.

Citing statistics of tele-density, which has gone up from 7% in March 2004 to 66% in December 2010, Mr Singh said the policy has paid "rich dividends".

Asserting that auction for 2G spectrum was not considered in 2007 as the concerned ministry had opposed it and was supported by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), he said, "I felt that for level playing field, it was entirely appropriate that we should continue on the path which we had followed until 2007.

"Then subsequently it turned out to be that while the policy was sound, the way it was implemented, I think, gave rise to problems," Mr Singh said in Lok Sabha replying to motion of thanks to the president for her address to Parliament.

He said all the problems relating to the 2G spectrum allocation will be looked into by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) besides Public Account Committee (PAC) and if there are any criminal aspects, they are being looked into by the CBI.

"Our government will fully cooperate with all these agencies and with all these entities to ensure that truth comes out and the guilty are punished," he said.

The government auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has quantified revenue loss of over Rs1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer due to sale of 2G airwaves in 2008 by the former telecom minister A Raja, who was arrested by the CBI earlier this month amid charges of his alleged involvement in manipulating the policy to favour select industrial houses.

As many as 122 licences were issued in January 2008 and most of the firms are yet to roll out mandatory services as stipulated in the licence's terms and conditions.

The telecom ministry has, meanwhile, issued show cause notices to telecom firms on charges of missing roll out obligations and also for suppressing information at the time of applying for licences in 2007.

Even the CAG had pointed out that most of the 122 licences were ineligible for getting licences and had asked the government to cancel these contracts.

The prime minister said, "People talk of scams and if there is a scam, it must be dealt with. The law of the land must punish the wrong doers but we must not overlook also the fact of this tremendous growth of the telecom sector which has taken place as a result of sound policies pursued by our government."


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