On December 12, 2007, at India Telecom 2007, the Prime Minister repeated: "The revenue potential to the government must not be lost sight of. After all, governments across the globe have harnessed substantial revenue while allocating spectrum."
On December 26, 2007, Mr Raja laid bare his plans.
The first-come, first-served rule, he wrote to Dr Singh, would have to be tweaked in view of the large number of applications that had piled up.
In the past, when only one application was processed at a time, the date of application worked well to meet the first-come, first-served rule.
Now that hundreds of applications were under consideration, first-come, first-served would mean whoever fulfilled the conditions of the letter of intent first got the licence first (and the spectrum that came with it).
DoT officers were told to consider this letter as a policy directive.
Image: Manmohan Singh (C) speaks with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L), as Sonia Gandhi watches on, during a function held to mark the completion of the government's three years in office in New Delhi.