New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) has recommended levying a one-time fee on existing mobile operators for spectrum they may hold in excess of 6.2MHz limit to garner at least Rs.22,640 crore.
In its presentation to the high-powered ministerial panel headed by finance minister P. Chidambaram on 3 October, DoT said that irrespective of which option the cabinet decides to impose one-time fee, the incumbent operators must be charged for spectrum above the 6.2MHz limit.
The department has proposed three options before the cabinet that include levying one-time fee on all airwaves held by existing telecom companies; imposing fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4MHz; or levying fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2MHz.
DoT in its calculations said in case it is decided to charge operators for all the spectrum, the government will garner Rs.72,792 crore while charging beyond 4.4MHz will ensure Rs.27,517 crore to the exchequer. In the case of the third option, which calls for charging beyond 6.2MHz, the government will get Rs.22,640 crore.
DoT has proposed to charge the existing operators in order to create a level playing field among all the players.
Existing telecom operators were allocated spectrum along with pan-India licences at Rs.1,658 crore only, while new telecom operators will have to pay a minimum of Rs.14,000 crore for spectrum to operate across country.
The empowered group of ministers is scheduled to meet on Monday when a final decision on the issue is expected. The payment methodology for charging for spectrum from existing operators will be similar to spectrum obtained through auction. PTI