EGoM on telecom to meet on November 29
Government has plans to auction unsold spectrum by March which can be key point of discussion at the EGoM.
New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, will meet on November 29 in the backdrop of lukewarm response to recently concluded 2G spectrum auction. "Its (EGoM meeting) happening on Thursday," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters on sidelines of meeting with stakeholders to discuss proposal for World Conference on International Telecommunications starting December 3 in Dubai.
This will be first EGoM meeting on spectrum issues after auction of spectrum that started on November 12 attracted muted response from the market and fetched the government only Rs 9,407 crore out of Rs 28,000 crore which was minimum value of the airwaves put for auction. The auction of CDMA spectrum had failed earlier after bidders pulled out.
The GSM spectrum auction also did not see any takers for spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Industry sources attributed failure of spectrum auction to high reserve price fixed by government. Government had fixed around 8 times high reserve price for GSM spectrum and 11 times high price for CDMA spectrum compared to the amount on which companies were allocated pan-India permits till 2008.
The telecom minister did not disclose the issues that will be discussed at EGoM but has earlier said that going forward, the government has option to look at price of spectrum for which there has been no bid and CDMA spectrum. Government has plans to auction unsold spectrum by March which can be key point of discussion at the EGoM.