e-Governance

2G auction to begin by mid-June: DoT

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The auction of second generation (2G) telecom licences and the spectrum might kick off from mid-June according to the department of telecommunications (DoT). R Chandrasekhar, secretary of DoT, has stated that the government has already begun to move in this direction and will meet the Telecom Commission, the decision-making authority, on Monday to discuss the way forward.

He said the auction process will begin after the government firms up its view on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations and gets them vetted by the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee). The EGoM has been notified for taking a call on issues relating to the terms of 2G auction, including allocation and spectrum pricing.

“Once we firm up our view and get the Trai’s final recommendations, we will take this to the EGoM. We have a meeting with the Telecom Commission on April 30. After that, we will go back to Trai with our initial views. Once we get their final view, we will analyse it and place it before the EGoM,” said Chandrasekhar.

He said the process of getting an approval from the EGoM would take around one-and-a-half months. Simultaneously, the government has initiated the process of selecting the auctioneer.

“Once these preliminary decisions for the conduct of the auction are taken and the auctioneer is in place, then the two will be put together and the auction process will begin near the middle of June,” said Chandrasekhar.

The government is looking to repeat the success of third generation (3G) auction held in 2010 and has reportedly roped in the man who was at the helm of it” former joint secretary of the DoT, J S Deepak. The DoT had beaten its target of raising `35,000 crore from the 3G auction when it actually realised `106,219 crore through the bidding process.

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