Spectrum auction nets govt 1,706 cr
In the recently held auction of the 1,800 MHz band spectrum, the Centre finally got only Rs 1,706.92 crore from telecom companies. This amount is much less than the targeted Rs 40,000 crore from sale of radiowaves in the current financial year.
In the recently concluded auction of 2G radio waves, the five telecom operators, who have won the spectrum, have to shell out a total of Rs 9,407.64 crore. However, they were given an option to either pay the entire amount upfront or pay under a deferred scheme in which they had to pay only 33 per cent upfront and get a two-year moratorium to pay the balance in ten equal installments.
Besides, the Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in October also decided to adjust the earlier payment made by companies whose licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February on the rider that there are no criminal proceedings pending against them in the 2G scam case.
As per the Department of Telecom sources, Telenor promoted Telewings Communications has paid Rs 1,326.03 crore out of Rs 4,018.28 crore it needed to pay and Vodafone paid Rs 372.22 crore out of the required Rs 1,127.94 crore. Bharti Airtel paid the entire amount of Rs 8.67 crore.
Videocon and Idea Cellular needed to pay Rs 733.08 crore and Rs 670.33 crore, respectively, but they adjusted their payments against licence fee they had paid for permits that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February this year.