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Govt seeks 4 months more from SC to auction 2G spectrum

Govt seeks 4 months more from SC to auction 2G spectrum

New Delhi: The government on Thursday moved a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking an extension to the 31 August deadline to conclude the auction of 2G spectrum.

As reported by Mint on Wednesday, the empowered group of minister looking into the spectrum auction guidelines, met Tuesday morning and decided to seek an extension of the deadline set by the apex court.

As per the timeline, the government hopes to complete the auction and allocate the necessary spectrum by 30 January, 2013, Mint reported 8 August.

On Monday, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) picked Gurgaon-based Times Internet Ltd to carry out the auction.

The Supreme Court on 2 February cancelled 122 telecom licences and 2G spectrum allocated to nine companies in January 2008, as the allotment process was flawed. It ordered the government to auction the spectrum by 2 June. The deadline was later extended to 31 August, with the affected companies given time till 7 September to wind up their operations.

Last week, the Cabinet set the reserve price for spectrum in the 1800 megahertz (MHz) band at 14,000 crore for 5MHz across the country. Spectrum in the 800MHz band will be priced at 1.3 times the spectrum in the 1800MHz band, or at around 18,200 crore for 5Mhz across the country.

shauvik.g@livemint.com

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