New Delhi: The inter-ministerial panel on 3G spectrum pricing is divided on a finance ministry proposal to double the reserve price to Rs4,040 crore, forcing DoT to take the matter to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
According to sources, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Ministry of IT have supported the reserve price of Rs2,020 crore as was originally recommended by DoT.
Last week, the finance ministry had asked the DoT to double the reserve price for pan-India 3G spectrum.
In a note sent to Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura, finance ministry had said, “The reserve price may be increased from Rs2,020 crore to Rs4,040 crore for a pan-India allocation of two blocks of five MHz of 3G spectrum.”
Recently, DoT had issued revised schedule for auctioning the 3G spectrum to 30 January. As most of the domestic players were getting ready to participate in the bidding process, the inter-ministerial differences now could delay the process, sources said.
Asked whether DoT may extend the auction date further, sources said it would depend on the CCEA’s decision. In case the reserve price is finalised by the Cabinet by next week, the government would go ahead with the schedule.
Sources in the DoT said that the note for the CCEA would be finalised in a day or two incorporating the views given by all the ministries and is hoping to take up the matter in the meeting next week.
When asked whether DoT has rejected finance ministry’s suggestion of doubling the reserve price, sources said there was no question of rejecting or accepting the view as CCEA would be taking the final decision.