Tata Group Hits Back in Cellphone Probe

Ratan Tata, chairman of India’s biggest conglomerate, has been thrust into the public spotlight as controversy unfolds over the government’s distribution of mobile-phone spectrum to several companies in 2008.

A member of India’s Parliament said in a public letter this week that the cellphone unit of Tata Group—a $67.4 billion conglomerate led by Mr. Tata—was among several companies given spectrum at discount prices. The spectrum allocation cost Indian taxpayers billions of dollars in lost potential revenue, according to a government auditing agency that has criticized the process as favoring a few companies.
The lawmaker, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an independent member of India’s upper house, said Tata Group was among several companies able to jump the queue to obtain spectrum when the selection process was expanded to include the wireless technology those companies use.

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