EGoM on telecom to meet today

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 06:00 hrs

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram will meet here today.

This will be its first meeting after the auction of GSM (global system for mobile communications) spectrum held earlier this month.

The auction had attracted a lukewarm response from the market and fetched the government only 9,407 crore rupees out of 28,000 crore rupees which was the minimum value of the airwaves put for auction.

The GSM spectrum auction also did not see any takers for spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

However, the government plans to auction the unsold spectrum by March 2013.

"The intent is to try and have another auction before March 31. We will discuss how to move forward and take a call on it," Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had earlier said.

Referring to the lukewarm response to the Supreme Court mandated auction of 2G spectrum, Sibal: "The government did exactly what the courts wanted it to do-that is sell the airwaves, or radio frequency spectrum, that was vacated after 122 licences and accompanying spectrum issued in 2008 were cancelled by virtue of a apex court order.

Stressing that "policy is best left to government", Sibal said that February's Supreme Court order, which cancelled 122 licenses sold in 2008 and asked for spectrum to be auctioned meant that the "government was limited in its policy prescriptions, had to move forward in a certain way. Which is why you saw what happened a few days ago." (ANI)

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