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Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the auctions for 5G spectrum will  most probably be held in February 2022, and the government may even try for a January timeline.

Vaishnaw further said, as quoted by PTI, the telecom reforms package cleared by the Cabinet is adequate for the survival of existing players. He also said, “With more reforms, and more structural changes, that are in the pipeline, more players should come."

A relief package for the stressed telecom sector was approved today by the Cabinet. It includes, a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route. 

Speaking further about the relief package, Vaishnaw said, "Today's reform package is good enough for ensuring competition, definitely it is good enough for survival of the players and making sure this is a healthy sector where competition stays robust...I honestly believe once we do a little bit of more changes that are there in pipeline, more players will come," Vaishnaw said. 

"We do not intend to stop," the minister said underlining the Centre's intention to push ahead with reforms to aide the ailing sector. 

"All the three big players feel that this was absolutely what was needed," the minister said noting that he had spoken to all the key players in the sector after Wednesday's briefing

Asked about the 5G spectrum auction timelines, the minister said it will be held during the last quarter of this fiscal. "Most probably February of 2022...I think by January also, we can try," Vaishnaw said.

(With inputs from agencieis)

 

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