Finance ministry asks DoT to speed up 3G auction process

Finance ministry asks DoT to speed up 3G auction process

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has asked the Department of Telecom to speed up 3G spectrum auction process, so that operators can roll out services as early as possible, and avoid introducing new clauses in the guidelines, which can cause further delays.

“The process to complete auction for 3G spectrum and rolling out of services is already much delayed and needs to be speeded up and completed as early as possible, latest by December 2008," Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Ashok Chawla said in a letter to Telecom Secretary Sidhharth Behura.

The Finance Ministry has also advised DoT to sort out all the outstanding issues at the earliest and not open fresh issues at this juncture, the letter said.

MoF is irked by the proposal of DoT to split 2G and 3G revenues, as it feels this would lead to loss of revenue to the government.

Finance Ministry had earlier also expressed its unhappiness when DoT had fixed a reserve base price of ,020 crore for a Pan India 3G licence, saying the value of spectrum is much higher than what DoT has put in the auction. MoF wanted the minimum base price to be raised to 2,500 crore.

As for the segregation of revenues, MoF has said it would lead to operators camouflaging 2G revenue to avoid paying the revenue share.