New Delhi: The ministry of communications and information technology is keen to fast-track the auction of third generation or 3G mobile licences, as well as ensure a five-year extension to the tax holiday scheme for export-oriented units and software parks.
A senior government official, who declined to be identified, told CNBC-TV18 that the communications ministry is likely to approach the Union cabinet within a week’s time with a road map for the 3G auction, which was slated for earlier this year but was deferred on account of lack of interest from the telecom industry.
In talks: Union minister for communications and IT A. Raja. Arvind Yadav / Hindustan Times
The communications ministry is keen that the cabinet takes a final call on the auction timing and licence reserve prices at the earliest. It wants to avoid the matter being referred to a group of ministers and avoid delays. Once the cabinet grants approval, the actual auction can be concluded within 60 days, the official added.
On the extension of the tax holiday that is available to the software sector under section 10(A) and 10(B) of the Income-tax Act 31 till March 2010, the communications ministry is pushing for a five-year extension. A final call on this proposal will be taken by the finance ministry, which may be wary of granting a long extension given the foregone tax revenue this measure entails.
These issues were on communications minister A. Raja’s agenda for the meeting that he had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday.
It is expected that the tax holiday extension announcement will find mention in the union budget for 2009-10.