New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) A meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom that was scheduled to meet under a new head, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, was postponed again Monday.
The meeting, which was expected to deliver on the difficult task of finalising the reserve price for 2G spectrum auction and mortgaging of airwaves, is likely to happen in a couple of days, a senior Department of Telecom (DoT) official said.
"The meeting has been deferred, might happen in a couple of days," the official said.
Earlier, an EGoM meeting was to take place June 21 under the chairmanship of the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. But it was deferred as Mukherjee apparently did not want to sit on judgment on a controversial issue as he was heading for the presidential poll.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended a reserve price of Rs.3,622 crore for 1 Mhz pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences were allocated in 2008 under the then telecom minister A. Raja.
Following widespread industry opposition, the government had sent a reference back to the TRAI to reconsider and explain its high reserve price. However, the TRAI remained unyielding.
Since then, the decision has been pending with the EGoM.
The delay in decision-making, according to sector analysts, is creating further uncertainties for the sector. Questions are already being asked whether the government would be able to meet the Supreme Court's deadline of Aug 31 to complete the auction.
Following a complaint of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner on corruption, a Central Bureau of Investigation's first information report and the Supreme Court's Feb 2 judgment, 122 telecom licences were declared illegal.