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EGoM to decide on spectrum pricing in next meet

Last Updated: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 16:21

New Delhi: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, will discuss the base price of spectrum, to be auctioned to operators, in its next meet, an official said Thursday.

"Spectrum pricing will come at the next EGoM," Financial Services Secretary D K Mittal told reporters here.

He, however, did not disclose the timing of the meeting. Sources said the high-powered panel will meet later this month.

The EGoM in its previous meeting had finalised broad modalities for auction of spectrum, including schedule and quantum of airwaves to be sold.

It, however, put off decision on pricing of spectrum for auction, which was necessitated after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G licences, given in 2008 by the then telecom minister A Raja.

The apex court had asked the government to auction the spectrum by August 31.

While the process will be initiated from August 6 with the issuance of Information Memorandum, other matters like pricing and roll out obligations are yet to be finalised by the high-powered panel.

Sectoral regulator Trai has recommended a base price of Rs 3,622 crore per megahertz (MHz) pan-India spectrum for 1800 Mhz band (being used for GSM service), which is almost 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences bundled with 4.4 MHz spectrum were allocated in 2008 by then Telecom Minister A Raja.

The telecom industry has criticised steep minimum price, saying it will raise the tariff of telecom services in the range of 30 to 100 percent.


First Published: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 16:21
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