Government wants 2G auction deadline extended to November
New Delhi: The government will file an application in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the deadline for the auction of 2G spectrum, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal said Tuesday.
The apex court had set Aug 31 as the date by which the auction has to be completed.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday.
"We are going to move the Supreme Court, place before them the facts and what the government has done, and also place before them that in terms of this schedule it isn't possible to perhaps to complete the auction by Aug. 31," Sibal told reporters after the meeting.
Though Sibal did not elaborate on the extended timeline, a senior official said the auction would likely begin by early November.
Sibal did not say whether an extension of the deadline will allow the affected companies to continue offering services beyond Sep 7.
The Supreme Court had cancelled 122 licences Feb 2 and asked the telecom department to redistribute them through an auction.
The telecom department Monday selected Gurgaon-based Times Internet Limited (TIL), part of the Bennett, Coleman & Co media group, as the auctioneer to conduct the e-auction of spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands.
The Cabinet had last week finalised Rs.14,000 crore for 5 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.